Rare but FATAL reaction to Taxol and Herceptin weekly regime. PLEASE READ.

Please be vigilant during your treatment. My Mum was on a weekly regime with Paclitaxel and herceptin. She passed away on Sunday due to a three week battle with pneumonitis and interstitial lung disease caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to the Taxol and/or herceptin. She was cancer free, 61, and all her other organs were functioning well. Yet there we were standing around her bed in ITU, holding her hand whilst the ventilator breathed for her. To make matters worse, another lady in her sixties was lying a few beds away with the same condition from the same regime. Her outcome has been happier, but still life changing.

I am on a mission to make people aware of this dangerous cocktail of drugs. Not to scare you, because you know and I know that this combination is a fairly painless and effective treatment for the vast majority of women. However, please be aware that alongside all the common side effects that are pointlessly listed, the three main rare but life threatening conditions associated with this treatment are: neutropenic sepsis, cardiac dysfunction, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis leading to interstitial lung disease. Please look up the symptoms for these, and take them very seriously if they arise. Take into account that some symptoms will be masked by steroids. If you go to the hospital, also be aware that blood tests will be altered by the steroids in your system. Mum’s temperature never rose past 37.7 with steroids in her system. Push for scans and other forms of tests. All the best with your treatment.

Also she only had seven doses of Taxol and two of herceptin. Hadn’t even completed her short course of chemo.

Oh Fi im so sorry to hear your news about your mam, its absolutely devastating for all of you sending my condolences
How selfless of you to post this to make people aware of these reactions xxx

Having just read this I’m now wondering if it was interstitial lung disease that killed my dad. He had oesophageal cancer, had combined chemo and radiotherapy and his breathing got worse and worse even when he was declared disease free. He died 6 months after being told there was no further sign of disease. His lungs packed up but he was never told why. I was never able to be as involved as I would have like we live far apart and I was having my treatment at the time ?

So sorry for you loss, thank you for your post xx