I would appreciate if a medical oncologist can shed some light on efficacy of abraxane vis-a -vis Taxol in controlling metastatic breast cancer to multiple bones, lymphnodes, and liver.
Thanks for a quick reply. My mother is a breast cancer patient since 2005. she has already undergone extensive cancer treatment. she had 8 cycles of Taxotere, AC protocol chemo first time with MRM and radiation. last year she had bony mets. 'none' of the hormonal treatment worked for her, further she had radiation to multiple sites. this oct the cancer spread to her lymphnodes and liver hence second round of chemotherapy for her. unfortunately she was also diagnosed with brain heamorrhage at the same time, so she cant be on any drug that brings down the platelets. therefore Taxol has been recommended otherwise lot of new drugs are available for metastatic disease. due to extentsive treatment her body is not recovering as it should. she is requiring frequent blood transfusions and gcsf support despite weekly chemo schedule (which is suppose to be less toxic)
Thanks once again..
No, I didn't require anything extra on Abraxane, not even nausea meds. I think I had one blood count come back irregular on the liver enzymes but that was my stupidity (tylenol and a glass of wine the night before the blood test...DUH, both affect the liver). Other than that, all my bloodwork came back routine and good. I don't think I even had a cold during that time (it was spring/summertime in the south, so think ALLERGIES).
Now I did dose dense treatments, so mine were every 3 weeks for 4 treatments instead of weekly, that may be one difference here. (that's just one more way to confuse things, there are so many ways to administer these drugs).
I did take a multi-vitamin and a B-50 supplement during chemo (blessings of my onc to do this, so check with her doc before starting anything new) and I really think that the vitamins helped with everything. I also tried to walk a little each day, get out in the sunshine when possible, and drank a lot of water.
Has your mom had any issues while on Taxol? To be honest, unless she is having difficulties, I really can't see changing drugs at this point in time... but that's me. How many more treatments is she scheduled to do? Will she require radiation?
I tell ya what, all the different types of drugs that are available, the different treatment options within those drugs, and all the different opinions of docs make it hard to know if the decisions being made are the right ones for the case.... Talk back with her oncs and if they cannot explain their reasoning enough to suit you (I'm assuming you live close enough to do so). And also find out if they are going to have fewer sessions with Abraxane versus her course on Taxol.
I'm so sorry for all your issues with the meds, it's hard enough just dealing with the cancer diagnosis.
Yes i am aware of its prohibitive price, that is why i wanted to confirm. Did you require any GCSF support after every chemo? how was your platelet count all the while with Abraxane?
If she's tolerating Taxol, then there is really no reason to change, IMHO. One last difference is price...since Abraxane is newer it is seriously more expensive.
I'd have a chat with the onc and see if you can pinpoint his reasoning behind the change.
Best of luck to your mom!
Hi lhughes Thanks for the input.
Our oncologist are hell bent on changing the drug from Taxol to Abraxane for no apparent reason. My mum has underdone 4 weekly cycles and tolerated well!
From my readings and understanding, Abraxane is basically the same chemical component of Taxol. It is delivered in a different solution though (thought to be better, that's the major difference... I want to think protein something or other). Taxol is in a caster oil derivative to which some people are allergic...like me.
The basic differences (and I know this part because I did Abraxane after finding out about the Taxol allergy the hard way)... Taxol takes approx 3 hours to deliver and has at least 2 premeds (one being Decadron which I HATED taking during A/C). Abraxane has no premeds and takes 30 minutes to deliver. I gotta go with loving Abraxane even if it does rather look like milk.
The side-effects are the same...hair loss and tingling in the extremities. All of my tingling is now gone (it took about 8 months or more before it was totally gone and even then on occassions I'd have some tingling). Hair grew back just like A/C, so no problem there.
I'm not sure about the results for metastatic treatment, my treatment was just general chemo on cancer, no metastisis present. I did well with Abraxane and am continuing to do so, thank God!