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Pancreas Cancer

Oxaliplatin was posted 01/31/2013 11:43 am by Lyn
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If you were happy with the doctor's explanation of why to try Gemcitabine + Cisplatin, then be reassured that Oxaliplatin is likely just as good if not better then Cisplatin.

Oxaliplatin is actually a sister medicine to Cisplatin, is newer, with potentially fewer side effects. Cisplatin is much harsher on the kidneys, and the neuropathy side effect you can develop from it is more often permanent. Oxaliplatin is often more mild on the kidneys, and has a different kind of neuropathy side effect (cold sensitivity that comes and goes, and a slowly increasing chronic neuropathy that is often reversibile).

When my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 PC and was first put on chemo more then 3 years ago, back in that day Gemcitabine + Oxaliplatin was considered one of the strongest combinations you could be on. Today, the strongest ones that have the best evidence are actually combinations of 3 chemos - FOLFIRINOX (5-FU/irinotecan/oxaliplatin) and many also try GTX or GAX (Gemcitabine/Taxotere or Abraxane/Xeloda), although there is still a little less published about that one of the highest level trials. Of course, for most people taking 3 chemos means more side effects, and in general the younger/healthier you are the better you tolerate them.

Did your doctor talk with him at all about these triplet combinations at all? Is he or she an expert in PC?

That being said, I do think it is very reasonable to try Gemcitabine + Oxaliplatin as a chemo for Stage 4 PC. Sometimes you want to balance quality of life with treatment.

I would also encourage you to find a Palliative Care doctor in the cancer center to start working with your husband periodically, if you are fortunate to have one there. They can be helpful with treating symptoms and side effects o the cancer and its treatment so that the oncologist can focus on killing the cancer, and the Palliative Care doc can focus on helping him live live his life to the fullest.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
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