Have you had TACE or SirSpheres radiation treatment? Please share

Posted by Sue @sue_in_delaware, Oct 4, 2015

Does anyone have experience with receiving TACE or SirSpheres, which are 2 types of radiation to the cancer tumor. I have colon cancer with mets to the liver. I’ve had 8 chemo treatments since starting chemo on April 22, 2015 and the 7.2 tumor in my liver has only shrunk to 6.2. They want it smaller before trying resection surgery. I’m wondering about the side effects of the TACE or Sir Sphreres treatments, pros and cons, risks and benefits etc. Thanks!

Hi @sue_in_delaware.
I can understand why you posted this question here. It is not easy to find information comparing TACE and SIR-spheres for metastatic colon cancer. I found this from ASCO 2012 about NETS with liver mets http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/88512-115 but it doesn’t give you the experiential information you’re looking for.

Are both options offered where you are being treated?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @sue_in_delaware.
I can understand why you posted this question here. It is not easy to find information comparing TACE and SIR-spheres for metastatic colon cancer. I found this from ASCO 2012 about NETS with liver mets http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/88512-115 but it doesn’t give you the experiential information you’re looking for.

Are both options offered where you are being treated?

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Hi Colleen, thanks for the link, I’ll check it out. Yes both options are offered and I have an appointment for a consultation with the Interventional Radiologist who will tell me all about them, this coming Wednesday. I’m on several different “forums” on the internet where I’ve posted questions, hoping to hear from people who’ve actually had one or the other procedures.

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Please check back in after your appointment on Wednesday. I’d like to hear what the radiologist has to say and what feeds in to your decision making. Not simple. In the meantime, I’m going to search for someone who has had the procedure and may be willing to share here. No promises, but one can try.

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@colleenyoung

Please check back in after your appointment on Wednesday. I’d like to hear what the radiologist has to say and what feeds in to your decision making. Not simple. In the meantime, I’m going to search for someone who has had the procedure and may be willing to share here. No promises, but one can try.

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Thanks Colleen for your input!
After looking at all my information, scans, my chemo routine up to this point, etc., the Interventional Radiologist that I spoke to yesterday at Penn Hospital in Philadelphia, came to the conclusion that SIR-Spheres is the best route for me. It’s a 2-step procedure. I’ll go back on Nov 5th and have what’s called “mapping” where they put a catheter up through the groin to the liver tumor. They inject a dye of sorts and see if it mostly stays there. If too much of it goes to the lungs or elsewhere, then it’s a No-Go and they’ll do something else (like the TACE). If the “mapping” goes as planned, I’ll go back within the next week to have the actual procedure where they place the radioactive “spheres” in the tumor. The spheres will shrink the tumor and it can take up to 6 months, although they do MRI scans at intervals during the 6-month period to observe shrinkage. My tumor is at the Vena Cava and the liver surgeon wants the tumor shrunk as much as possible before he can do a safe resection. I found a decent link in case anyone else wants to read about this at http://www.sirtex.com/us/patients/about-sir-spheres-microspheres/frequently-asked-questions/

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Hi Sue,
It sounds like you had a thorough consult with the radiologist. Rather than having to make a choice, you get to try plan A, with a backup plan B in the wings. Is this the way you read it too? Seems like SIR-Spheres works well if the location can be more targeted and TACE when the solution needs to be more systemic.

Did you feel like you were listened to and got clear answers to your questions? That is so important.

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@colleenyoung

Hi Sue,
It sounds like you had a thorough consult with the radiologist. Rather than having to make a choice, you get to try plan A, with a backup plan B in the wings. Is this the way you read it too? Seems like SIR-Spheres works well if the location can be more targeted and TACE when the solution needs to be more systemic.

Did you feel like you were listened to and got clear answers to your questions? That is so important.

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Hi Colleen,
Yes, that’s the way I read it too. The Interventional Radiologist seemed like a brilliant man and I liked the way he addressed all the issues. I can’t wait to get this going. (The only downside so far is that it’s a 3-hour trip to Philadelphia each way and it looks like it’ll be several trips in the near future, ugh.)

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Hi @sue_in_delaware,
I thought I would check in to see how you are doing. How did the mapping go? Was it tough? I’m not sure how soon you get results or a treatment plan, but would love to get an update.

Also, a new member joined Connect, @Jackiewizardof. While I know your diagnoses are completely different, I was wondering if you could pop over this thread and welcome her. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hello-well-i-am-52-and-found-out-yesterday-that-i-have-something/?pg=1#post-214820 I’m sure she’s like to know that someone is listening.

Talk to you when you get a chance.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @sue_in_delaware,
I thought I would check in to see how you are doing. How did the mapping go? Was it tough? I’m not sure how soon you get results or a treatment plan, but would love to get an update.

Also, a new member joined Connect, @Jackiewizardof. While I know your diagnoses are completely different, I was wondering if you could pop over this thread and welcome her. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hello-well-i-am-52-and-found-out-yesterday-that-i-have-something/?pg=1#post-214820 I’m sure she’s like to know that someone is listening.

Talk to you when you get a chance.

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Hi Colleen, thanks for checking up on me. The arteriogram “mapping” procedure went well. They’ve scheduled the SIR-Spheres procedure for Tues, 24th. I have a pamphlet from SIRTEX (who make the Yttrium 90 microspheres.) It’s been used in Australia since 1980s and got approved in the US in 2002. Between the pamphlet and their website I feel like I know all about it and feel less anxiety now. I’m ready to get this tumor shrunk down to nothing! I’ll keep you posted. Take care!

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Knowledge is power. At least that’s what works for me. Some people prefer not to know, but you sound like you like to be prepared for what to expect. I’m glad you found information to conquer some of the anxiety.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Imagine how helpful this will be for the next person looking for this type of information. They’ll have the pamphlets and website, as well as your experience. Hopefully we’ll add more people to the conversation. I just met someone on Twitter who is getting TACE treatment today for GIST. I’m hoping when she feels up to it, she’ll tell us about it.

Thanks for replying to Jackie too.

What do you have to do to prepare for the SIR-Spheres procedure? Anything in particular?

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@colleenyoung

Knowledge is power. At least that’s what works for me. Some people prefer not to know, but you sound like you like to be prepared for what to expect. I’m glad you found information to conquer some of the anxiety.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Imagine how helpful this will be for the next person looking for this type of information. They’ll have the pamphlets and website, as well as your experience. Hopefully we’ll add more people to the conversation. I just met someone on Twitter who is getting TACE treatment today for GIST. I’m hoping when she feels up to it, she’ll tell us about it.

Thanks for replying to Jackie too.

What do you have to do to prepare for the SIR-Spheres procedure? Anything in particular?

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Exactly! Knowledge is power! I’ve always used that motto, lol. I had started taking Xeloda on Oct 20th at 3000 mg (half taken twice a day after breakfast and evening meal.) It will be a 2 weeks on and 1 week off maintenance chemo that I’ll be on for quite some time (possibly.) My Oncologist, however, told me to stop it 2 weeks prior to the procedure, so, since it’s 2 weeks away, I’m currently not taking Xeloda. I’ll probably get back on about a week after the Sir-Spheres procedure though. I’ve seen (or read) about tons of people who have had good luck being on Xeloda. It shrinks cancer. The info I have about the Sir-Spheres does suggest that we be on other chemo all the way to keep any possible “other” cancer tumors from popping up and to help shrink the ones we have now.

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Dear sue_in_delaware,

I had the TACE procedure last Thursday (Nov. 12). Please feel free to ask me anything you want about the procedure and I will be happy to answer you/walk you through it. I am the gist patient mentioned above ^^.

Take care,
Laydeewinx

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Hi @Laydeewinx. Thanks for joining us here on Connect. I love it when networks of connections intersect.

I’d like to ask you about the TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) procedure. Can you walk us through it? For example, were you sedated, general or local? How long did you stay in the hospital? What did it feel like? How are you feeling now?

That’s a lot of questions. You don’t have to answer them all 🙂

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