Yesterday my husband had his 4th taxotere treatment. His first follow-up CT is scheduled for September 11th. We have been told since starting second line that as long as the follow-up CT doesn't show growth, that if it shows any shrinkage or stable disease then they would proceed with 6 treatments. However, if growth is shown then they would go to 3rd line with Tarceva.
Today my husband had some SOB after rushing up a flight of stairs and then went into what I thought was a panic attack with feeling he couldn't breathe etc and it snow-balled (so scary for him). His oncologist is away but the covering physician ordered a pulmonary angio to ensure he had not thrown a blood clot into his lung. The results came back negative for the blood clot, but in the verbal report the radiologist mentioned that the primary mass had grown 0.5 cm (was initially 7.4 cm). When the covering physician told us about this, she said she thought some minimal growth is allowed to be considered stable, said she thought the growth had to be above a certain % before it was considered 'ineffective treatment'. They are still planning on doing a complete CT series on the 11th (chest, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis).
So my questions are:
1. is there a 'magic %' of growth that has to occur before treatment is considered ineffective and is moved to 3rd line, or does that occur with any growth at all?
2. My husband never progressed while on Gem- Carbo first-line, he actually had significant shrinkage and was feeling the best he had in 2 years, but 2 months after he completed his 6 cycles, the cancer was found to be growing again. Is there ever a time that it would be appropriate to reuse one or both of those first-line drugs?
With thanks and appreciation,