interaction of steroids and targeted therapies - 1271206

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 19:42

I came across a study that claimed that corticosteroids can interfere with the apoptosis effect of cancer drugs depending on the cancers genetics.
It said there is a surprising scarcity of high level data to support many of the common practices of clinicians treating brain tumor patients with steroids including overall indication, dosage and duration of therapy, the ubiquitous effects of the agents, as well as their mechanisms of action raise the question of interaction of steroids with the plethora of targeted therapies that are being developed for treatment of brain tumors.

Corticosteroids in brain cancer patients:
benefits and pitfalls ( 2011 )

I will need to take dexamethasone for a certain period of time after stereotactic radiation surgery for 3 small brain mets. Will I compromise Tarceva's effectiveness??
Thank you for any enlightenment on this issue

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Hi Kempten,

That's an interesting discussion you cite, which can be found here for those interested in reading it.

I think the best that can be said is that the research into the effect corticosteroids may have on cancer treatments is in its infancy. In the meantime, it is certainly well established that these steroids are very effective in reducing the symptoms of brain metastases, and remain the drug of choice in that context.

Knowledge regarding cancer and its treatments is constantly evolving, and at times patients and doctors face questions and make decisions before all the data is available, doing the best they can to make appropriate choices. In your situation, you may want to suggest to your doctor that you prefer the most minimal course of steroids which will still be effective in managing your brain mets.

Good luck.

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