Chemotherapy for stage IV prostate cancer
I am 79 years old and have had stage IV prostate cancer for three years now. Treatment has been immunotherapy, most recently Keytruda.
My oncologist seems to be giving up on the keytruda and is now advising/proposing chemotherapy using docetaxel.
I would appreciate receiving information on the experience people have had with chemotherapy in general, and with docetaxel specifically if anyone has gone this route.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Prostate Cancer Support Group.
I've just finished my 6 treatments of docetaxel. One every 3 weeks. My stage 4 prostate cancer has shown no progression. I am also getting a Lupron shot every 3 months and a bone infusion of zoledronic acid every month. My psa is non detectable. The treatments seem to be working but the side effects are pretty bad. You get really tired, no appetite and everything taste bad. I have lost 25 pounds during the treatment. As long as it works I can live with it. Just hoping my strength returns after this is out on my system.
Welcome @redroadtraveler. I moved your question to the Prostate Cancer support group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/prostate-cancer/
In addition to the helpful reply you got from @gdstewar, I'm bringing in fellow members @leebeth @sannira @rso who have experience with chemotherapy treatments including docetaxel and can share their experiences as well.
How are you doing with the prospect of going on chemotherapy?
I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer in February 2019. Treat was ADT with bicalutimide, eligard every six months. 44 radiation treatments. Change from bicalutimide to enzalutimide. Added radium223 for five of 6 anticipated treatments before starting docetaxel.
PSA has been all over the place. Initially starting at 541 or so, dropped to what I think was a false reading of 2.2 (false because I was getting radiation at the time.) Later the reading went up to 1131, dropped to 27, bac up to 1013 and started down with latest reading og 950 or so.
New round of scans show spots on lymph nodes in chest cavity and on liver. Was evaluated for lu177 but do not meet criteria.
So undergoing biopsies today of bone marrow and liver to determine histology of the cancer to help determine a new plan of treatment.
Together to your question about what to expect from docetaxel, I experienced adverse reactions in my blood work from both the radium223 and the docetaxel. Hemoglobin dropped to low 7s, platelets went very low as did white cells and neutrophils. I received multiple whole blood transfusions and multiple platelet transfusions.
Other than those problems major side effects have been weakness in my legs, overall lack of stamina and severe tiredness. These have been especially prominent in the past two months as we have been waiting to determine our next treatment plan.
I hope some of this is helpful. Good luck as you continue on this journey. As difficult as as it is, try to stay positive and patient. You already know it is a long journey. Good luck.
Just spoke with my radiation oncologist who told me that a covid vacinne can raise PSA and tests
I googled and got this video that says wait 3 months to get tested after getting vaccine
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Did CT scan yesterday before knowing this on today's call
Had covid 5th on October 21st then 2 PSA test and third Nov 21st a 6.6 reading
Scheduled nuclear bone scan Monday which maybe don't need by my Medical Oncologist last month on hearing my PSA going up