How long between chemotherapy and herceptin?

I signed up for the Persephone Trial at my local hospital and was told that I had to start my herceptin within 60 days of completing chemotherapy. This was/is very much about the trial and comparing data. My 60 days will be up on 24 October.

Because of some very negative experiences at my local hospital when I was supposed to be receiving my loading dose of herceptin (veins knackered, hospital not listening, telling me what my infusion would include prior to reading my notes and therefore freaking me out) I chose to leave. This was after other negative experiences earlier in the year. I’ve not however cut ties whilst making future decisions.

My GP has referred me to the Marsden - first appointment on 21 October. By the time any treatment will happen, it will be beyond the 60 days that the trial insists on.

So outside of a trial which if I am treated at the Marsden I assume will happen, what is the normal timescale between chemo and herceptin? I seem to recall reading 90 days somewhere - would this be right?

Thanks

Gill

The trial that demonstrated the successfulness of herceptin after chemo required women to start within six months of ending chemo, so that has been used as the maximum. So, if you are worried about being cut off from herceptin, the delay should not be a problem, although treatment probably better started sooner than later.

Thanks so much for that Christine. That’s made me feel a lot better and far less worried! I daresay I will be starting soon so should have nothing to be concerned about. Phew!

Gill

The NICE guideline is that herceptin is given after rads if used. The usual delay between chemo finisheing and rads is 4-6 weeks, then 4- weeks of rads, so you have loads of time (as 12 weeks is 90 days) and my onc also says within 6 months. Also, interestingly, when discussing this with said onc, he told me that rads enhance the effect of hrceptin and that he gave it concurrently to his private patients. All i had to do was ask. i’m starting both in november.
Td x

Thanks a lot Td. Again, that’s helpful. I’m not having rads, but I clearly have plenty of time. Good luck with your treatment!

Gill

I am hopefully starting Herceptin alongside taxotere the end of this month. I have only two taxotere to go and then rads. I have asked for this. The onc was agreeable. However at last chemo session where I was due to have herceptin the following day I also received negative comments from chemo nurse which put me off. Another nurse came out and said there was no reason why I couldnt so I am starting herceptin the end of this month.

Good luck Starfish. From what I’ve read, your treatment is the obvious way to go ie. combining taxotere with herceptin. Isn’t this done in the US? Good for you regards ensuring this happens.

Take care

Gill

I have been having chemo every 3 weeks and finish my last Taxotere this coming Friday and have been told that I will start my year of Herceptin three weeks after my last chemo ( still keeping a 3 weeks cycle), and I will be having rads everyday for 5 weeks st the same time!!! Think that this is going to get very complicated appointment wise as I want to continue working and rads and Heceptin are given at diffent locations - one in London and one in Essex!!

Are there are problems with rads and Herceptin at same time?

I have just had my 3rd taxotere today. Feeling a bit wobbly. Due Herceptin tomorrow. A bit worried as someone else was just starting today and they were sick! Been told there is nothing I can do to prevent it happening I am not able to control my body. But we are all different.

Apparently there is no problem with having Herceptin and rads on the same day so I understand.

Thanks Starfish.

Goood luck.