New Topotean questions

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Dr West 3 years ago.

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April 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm  #9599    


My mother in law was dx with extensive SCLC in July 2011 we have done 6 rounds of chemo, 6 rounds of cyber knife and 14 WBR. The doctor also thinks the cancer has gotten into her bones so Monday we started Zometa. After the 6 rounds rounds of chemo we did a CT scan 3 months later and it showed the lung cancer has gotten to the size it was when we started chemo, I know that isn\\\\’t good by what I have read on this web site. I was wondering if you could tell me how many rounds of Topotean a Dr. usually does my MIL just started her 3 round today after the last round we had to get a shot called Proscrit because her levels dropped so low so now we will getting that and the Naulasta shot. Also today before we started the third round her blood pressure was 85 over 45 I know that is low do you think that is from the chemo? So my questions are how many rounds of Topotean are usually done? And why do you think her blood pressure was low? We did get it back up to 103 over 54.

Thank you for all you do on this site I know I find it very helpful to come and get answers when I need them.

Also I am not sure if I have to start a new topic for my new questions or can I add them to my last post and you will see them.

April 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm  #9604    

certain spring

Hallo rsmith8167. I am sorry to hear about your mother-in-law.
You don’t have to start a new topic – it’s fine to update a previous thread.
I am sure a doctor will answer shortly, but you might want to look at a post on SCLC by Dr Gadgeel that discusses topotecan:
I am quoting Dr Gadgeel here (you have to scroll right down to get to this bit):
“When treating recurrent SCLC patients, the treatment with topotecan is usually continued until there is evidence that the treatment is not working or the patient does not tolerate the side-effects from the treatment.”
He goes on to say that “Topotecan is able to keep the cancer controlled on an average for about 3 months. Again the duration for which the cancer is controlled varies from patient to patient. The probability of topotecan working is higher in a patient whose cancer was controlled for longer than 3 months after completing the first chemotherapy.”
I am sorry that you and your family are having to deal with this disease. Best wishes.

49-year-old non-smoker, dx stage IV NSCLC May 2010 (squamous tumour of the left lung with multiple brain metastases). Radiotherapy to chest and brain; progressed through two cycles carbo/gemcitabine. Repeated lung collapses; pneumonia in collapsed lung, Nov 2010; bronchial stent placed, Dec 2010. Declined second-line Taxotere. Mutation testing Feb 2011, surprise EGFR exon deletion 19. Started Tarceva (150mg), Feb 2011. Progression in liver and elsewhere, May 2013.

April 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm  #9615    

Dr. Weiss

The standard of care is indeed to treat until the chemo stops working. I define “not working” as either the cancer growing or the patient experiencing unacceptable side effects. In my practice, I do scans every 2 cycles to make sure that the cancer isn’t growing.

May 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm  #10182    


My MIL had to get 3 pints of blood yesterday and some platelets because her platelet count was 13 on Thursday and by the time we got to the hospital they had dropped to 7. My question is do you think they will do more Chemo it is suppose to start on May 21 this will be her 4 Th round also on Thursday May 17 we are suppose to get a another PET scan. If you don’t think they will do more Chemo do you know of any trail studies going on for relapsed small cell lung cancer I need to know what else we can do or do you think her body has had enough. I know she has been though a lot and she is 65 but we are not ready to give up. Please tell me what you think. Thank you so much for being here to answer everyone’s questions.

May 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm  #10189    


Here’s a link for clinical trials for SCLC. You can check location for each and see if any are in her area.
Take care, Judy

May 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm  #10200    

Dr West

First, her platelet count and other blood counts would need to recover to a point that it’s safe to take more chemo. After counts drop that low, we usually cut the dose if we continue the same chemo regimen.

-Dr. West

Howard (Jack) West, MD
Medical Oncologist

Views expressed here represent my opinion, not those of GRACE or Swedish Cancer Institute. This information does not constitute medical advice and is intended to supplement and not replace medical information provided by your doctor.

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