Update-Taxotere Chemo and DN101 Clinical Study-

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whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/29/2007 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone!  I haven't posted in a while,but wanted to give everyone an update on my dad.  I see more of you have posted about advanced/recurring PC here recently, so I hope this can help someone.  To update-at 60 years old, in the early part of the year, my dad was sent by his regular doctor to a urologist..his PSA was 6.1.  The doctor had written on the paper-"non-emergency"...if only he really knew.  The urologist discussed with my dad his options and my dad chose to have his prostate removed.  I was not involved in his treatment too much at this time.  He said he liked his doctor, and I knew very little about PC, so I justed trusted his judgement.  He ended up having to wait for the surgery till late Nov 05.  When the doctor went into to remove his prostate, his lymph nodes were bulging with cancer.  The doctor took the lymph nodes out and left his prostate intact.  I later found out his PSA was 64 at that time.  I now know there were many mistakes.  In Dec 05, that same doctor did an orchiectomy (testical removal) on my dad.  We-the family-were told that this would kill off the testerone..and the cancer would die out.  Again-if only I knew then what I know now.  Fast forward to April 06-my dad's PSA was down to .04.  We truly thought the cancer was dying out and almost gone.
At the next 6 month check up, it was back up to 8.1.  This time I went with my dad to the doctor's office.  The doctor referred us to an oncologist..this is about the time that I met you guys.  My dad had multi scans run..his PSA was now 15.88...and the cancer showed as three cancer tumors in the lymph nodes between the kidneys.  We decided to participate in a Clinical Study...Taxotere Chemo with high does of DN101-which is a form of calcium.  My dad is now 62.  He just finished his 5th month of chemo.  The chemo is very gentle--he has not goten sick at all.  It has killed his taste buds but he forces himself to eat and does a low fat, very little meat diet, and drinks pomegranate juice daily.  He has maintained his weight.  He had thin hair to begin with-he has not lost it but it has thinned some more.  Overall, we feel very fortunate with the side effects.  At the last scans 4 weeks ago-at the 4 month interval-my dad's PSA had dropped down to .6 and his scan showed that the cancer in the lymph nodes between the kidneys has so far decreased 55-70% since we started.  We just had a new PSA taken Wed-get that result next Fri.  In four weeks, we get new scans.  After that, there are only 6 weeks left in the clinical study...so we will have to see where he is at at that point.  He looks great and overall feels pretty good..a little fatigued but he still works 12 hour days and carrys on with life as normal.  I go to every single doctor meeting and chemo appointment with him.  I told him we will fight this together.  He is my everything.
While I am extremely thankful and happy about the cancer dying out-I am nervous about "what happens next".  I try to live in the now and for today-knowing that we have been truly blessed so far, but I still worry.  I am a little confused on when someone is Hormone Refractory-like he is...what happens next if the PSA starts creeping back up after chemo.  I know the reoccurance rate is high for him, but I hope and pray we can keep him in remission for some time(forever would be fantastic :))  Can they use hormone therapy on him after chemo if the PSA starts rising? 
 
Also-on the news today-I heard about a drug called Provenge.  It is a Prostate Cancer Vaccine-but not for prevention-for those that already have PC from what I understand.  It was either just FDA approved or is in the process of being approved-not real sure...but I googled Provenge and there is some info on it if someone wants to read it.  I am excited to learn more about it.

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 3/29/2007 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Its worth looking into on the Provenge. On the HT. Your doctors can run testosterone counts to see what the adrenal glands are putting out. But since he has had surgical castration, i doubt that hormones will have any affect at all. The reason for HT is to medically castrate in place of surgery.

Good luck to you and you dad. Our prayers are with you.

Tony

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 3/29/2007 10:57:42 PM (GMT-6)


myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 3/30/2007 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Whispers,

Wow, what a road you've been on with your dad. Sorry to hear he's been through so much.

Hormone refractory means the hormone therapy is no longer working and the psa starts to creep upward, so at the time your dad's psa started to creep up is when he became hormone refractory.

He must be a strong man with his work schedule and doing chemo - that says alot! It sounds like your dad is tolerating the chemo well, his psa is dropping, and his scan results show good improvement. That's the kind of information we need and thank you for sharing it.

You're a wonderful daughter - there's no substitute for the care and encouragement you give him. Take care of yourself.

We wish you all the best,

Susan
Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 No Symptoms
PSA: 7.96, Positive DRE
Biopsy Right: 6 of 6 Cores Positive Biopsy Left: 1 of 6 Cores Positive
Gleason: 4+3 = 7 Stage: T2B N0 MX
2/09/06: LRP Restage: T3A NX MX
3 mo. PSA Post Surgery: 11.8, 12.9, 13.9 Bone scan, CT scan, Endorectal MRI, Chest XR - neg.
9/06/06: 6 mo. PSA: 18.8 CT shows lymph node involvement Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07 - PSA 0.3


whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/30/2007 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Susan and TC. The doctor even tells him he looks great-that he could not believe my dad even had cancer when he met him. He is very strong minded and is trying to do all the right things with eating and keeping his body strong. He desperately needs his insurance now so can't retire till at least 64 years old. He was never sick till now and PC does not run in his family.

So...if we can no longer use HT...does anyone know if there is ANYTHING we could use if the PSA starts rising after chemo? Believe me, we will celebrate, and my dad will take a little medicine break when chemo is done and the cancer shows all gone. I want him to enjoy that remission and not worry. I am just getting to the point now where I am thinking about what is next. I thought there were like anti-antrogen blockers or something that he could use. Surely, we just don't let the cancer climb back to chemo stage and do chemo again? I hope that is not where we are with this...anyone know more about this stage?

myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 3/30/2007 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Whispers,
You might try this sight - it's a bit technical but give good information. You will have to read through a few times.

http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/cancer.gov/CDR0000062910.html#REF_161

I know others will chime in here so hang tight.

Susan

Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 3/30/2007 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Whispers:

I have nothing to offer, but just wanted you to know how lucky your Dad is to have you and I'm sure he knows that.  Unconditional love and support is soooo important during these times.

Best to both of you.

Dutch


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 71
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
T2b
Completed Proton therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
5yr PSA   0.17
Have had no side effects.


whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/3/2007 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone! I've been researching some more the last few days...making my list to go over with the doctor on Friday. I want to ask about getting his Testostrone level checked? I've read that sometimes people who are thought to be Hormone Refractory sometimes will respond to Hormone Therapy. It can't hurt to find out what levels he is putting out-maybe then we can figure out how to block?

Also-I found a great 15 page article about Hormone Refractory put out by the Prostate Cancer Institute. What they suggest to try is-Anti-androgen withdrawal and other withdrawals-Casodex and Eulexin are examples. 2-Anti-androgen Administration. 3-Adrenal Suppressives-such as Ketoconazole 4) Corticosteroids such as Decadron, prednisone,and hydrocortisone. 5) Thalidomide 6)External beam radiation therapy 7)Estrogen-like DES 8) Intravenous bone seeking radiopharmaceuticals like Metastron(liquid radiation?) 9) Bisphosphonates 10) Chemo-we are already doing this with great response so far. and 11) Experimental therapies.

While I don't understand them all yet, I am very happy to see that there are some options. I plan to discuss them in full with the doctors and also do more research. I'm also wondering about Salvation Radiation?

I checked more on the new Immune Therapy drug-Provenge and it is for Gleason 7 and below patients only...so would not work on us..but will ask about it too.

Anyways..my thoughts are that since this is a clinical study my dad is in now with the chemo and DN101-there are no statistics about length of remission...because they really don't know yet..this is the Testing for it. So..that is hopeful thinking that maybe remission will at least go a little longer than chemo alone. A girl can hope, right?

God Bless-
Lisa

whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/20/2007 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't updated in a while and wanted to share with the group. My dad finished his clinical study eight weeks ago. We were thrilled when the Pet Scan showed all tumors GONE! PSA was down to 0.3. But, it has quickly risen back to 1.5. I recently started my dad at MD Anderson here in Orlando, Florida. At first,it was for a second opinion..now, we have decided to stay. We have only had 2 visits so far. The doctor immediately started my dad on Casodex...this is his 4th week. I am praying that it works and works for a while. The doctor also took new scans on him. There is a suspicious, but very small, spot they are watching in his bones on his back buttock area. I pray it is not cancer..and if it is, maybe the casodex can deterr it. Needless to say, I am feeling anxious and nervous with the PSA back on the rise. I will never give up though and hope that we can get the help we need at MD Anderson. We get a new PSA this Friday so I am hoping it will show me the Casodex is working.

Please keep us in your prayers. It has really been a fight every step of the way, but made easier when I can share with friends like you :)

God bless you all. I sincerely hope a cure for this mess is in the near future.

myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 8/20/2007 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad to see your comfortable with your Dad at MD Anderson - sounds like they are treating him aggressively and you have our hope that he will respond well.
Your a great daughter and I'm sure a wonderful source of strength for him.
Thanks for letting us share this with you.

All the best to you both,
Susan

IdahoSurvivor
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 8/20/2007 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for letting us know, whispers,

We'll certainly keep you both close in our thoughts and prayers.

Idaho
Age: 54
PSA: 4.3
Biopsy: T1c, 3+3=6, 2 pos. samples in one side of prostate
Da Vinci 31 Jul 2007: saved nerve bundle on side of non-cancerous side
Final pathology: Confined to prostate, T2a, 3+3=6
Working to get back into good shape
Waiting to take that first post-op PSA

Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 8/20/2007 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Whispers:

What a comfort you must be to your father and glad to hear that  MD Anderson is giving you a level of treatment you are pleased with.  Be sure to take care of yourself and our thoughts are with you, your father and your family.

Dutch 


whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/21/2007 4:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone for the kind words, thoughts and prayers. I have honestly never been this frightened in my life. It is all so confusing. I don't understand how and why chemo works on some cancers, but not on this. It worked well while using it, but then it immediately flared back up. We were not even given a month of low PSA's....it did not seem to hold it off for very long at all. But, it did get rid of the tumors, and I know that buys time and also stops it from spreading further.
I am just praying with all my might that this Casodex works on him. It could buy us some more time and would be the less hurtful to his body. The waiting for that PSA score is the hardest part....3 more days....

Is there anyone else on this board that is Hormone Refractory?

whispers
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/26/2007 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I wanted to report that my dad's PSA came back as 0.6. It dropped from 1.5 after just 3 weeks on the Casodex. I am so thankful that it is working, and am praying it will continue to work for some time.
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