I'm just at the start of all this. My initial diagnosis was secondary breast cancer with lymph node involvements and at least 3 mets in my liver. I've just had my first lot of pertuzumab, Herceptin and Docetaxel. The Doce is truly horrible isn't it; I ended up back in hosp with a high temp and very low white cell count last week for a few days.
I'm interested to read that some of you have been offered 8 cycles as my breast surgeon initially suggested 6-8 cycles. Now I've had the first, I'm keen to keep it to 6 if I possibly can. But we'll see how I progress. They were talking about doing another whole body CT scan after my second cycle to be sure my liver is responding well so I guess I'll know more after that.
I am not any medical. I understand 8 cycles is the maximum by reading the protocol summary created by BC cancer agency of Canada Provincial health authorities website,
ps. I was offered the maximum 8 cycles at beginning based on my primary treatment history (what my onco said)
BC Cancer Protocol Summary for Palliative Therapy for Metastatic
Breast Cancer using DOCEtaxel
Ha ha, I expect they do keep it in a jar somewhere! However as things can change you can request a biopsy if it’s possible to have one, which isn’t always the case. Having said that at my recent second opinion at The Marsden I was told that we shouldn’t be over tested as the outcome isn’t always worth it and most likely your original diagnosis is still correct. Obviously that does change with a few people but can be very slight, as in my case, and give false positives. Normally this would reflect in a treatment not working at all if it was targeting a receptor that no longer existed. I agree about not wanting any more chemicals than necessary at any one time but glad you are tolerating the docetaxel OK
Thanks for the hug 😊
Hey Nicky thank you so much for your kind words and help it seems to me that these 11 years on have given you a lot of knowledge apart from the emotional and physical impact the disease is usually causing. I was initially ER+and Her- but who knows something might have changed but I am not aware how they check the status of the tumour, I mean do they need a new biopsy or they keep my old one somewhere in a jar, lol:) Anyway I will probably call the nurses would like to hear more opinions about what difference does it make between 6 and 8 cycles of Docetaxel as I do not want to overload my body with toxins for nothing. I know that no body can guarantee but still, my life is my life and I want to live it the best way possible no matter for how long. I do not have any major side effects from the drug yet apart from some peripheral nerve damaging but I do not want more. Thanks again and I give you the biggest hug ever.
Hey avrelia, you should come on here as often or as not you want! That’s what it’s here for. When I was on docetaxel it was a time when my HER2 status had changed to (slightly) positive so I was on Herceptin and Perjeta afterwards plus Letrozole for the hormone positive element. However later it was determined that the HER2 status was so weakly positive that the H and P hadn’t really been of any significant help so it was the Letrozole that kept me stable afterwards for about 14 months if I remember the number of months right. Hopefully once you know how many cycles you’ll have (and I’d say it’s quite tough to have more than 6) you’ll get on a treatment that keeps you stable but isn’t so intrusive or intense.
Good luck and pop in whenever you need us!
Hi Nicky yes I have not been on the forum since I started Docetaxel. Somehow I come and go, and come back only when I am faced with dilema. And yes your response makes sense. I have had a scan after my 4 one and it was only then when they said that the response is good. I really doubt they are going to offer me a scan after the 6th one as it is quite soon to my mind but I will aks them for sure. What treatment did they give you after Docetaxel to keep things stable?
How is your current treatment going, sorry, like i said I just come and go.....
Hope you are well
Whenyou posted I realise we hadn’t heard from you for a while. I’m glad docetaxel is working well for you but understand your concerns. I was in the same position a few years back when I was on it and ‘offered’ 2 more cycles, when I had expected only 6. I was suffering a bit with side effects and general fatigue etc so it was agreed that I stop at 6. I was then due to have continuing treatment which kept things stable for over 14 months. I would ask what the follow on treatment is and has there been a marked improvement in the scan results from the initial 3 cycles to what will be seen on the ‘final’ one presumably after 6 cycles. I don’t know if you have had scans, or are having scans, at these intervals but it is quite usual to have them halfway and at the perceived end of treatment. My recent visit for a second opinion at The Marsden, brought this upas they do look at the benefits of having more cycles based on how your cancer has responded both initially and then later in the treatment cycle. It seems if the changes are slowing down you may not get the benefits versus the side effects.
Hope this helps.
Hi there I have been on Docetaxol for 5 cycles with the 6 one approaching. I was just told that because it is working very well for my liver secondaries I should consider having 8 cycles not 6. I am just afraid that it may cause more harm than good. Does anyone know any studies when people with less cycles survival rate is compared to the ones with more cycles. I do not have major side effects apart from nerve damaging but still I do not want anything to happen