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!

@sue_in_delaware

@Colleen_Young @smness
Update on my SIRT (Y-90) Sir-Spheres microspheres radiation procedure that was done on Nov. 24, 2015. The report from yesterday’s MRI scan (Feb 24, 2016) was read to me over the phone this morning. The good news is that my original 7.7 cm tumor (which was diagnosed on Feb 6, 2015) in the right lobe of my liver which was treated with that radiation procedure, has shrunk down to 4.7 cm. However, the bad news is, there are NEW 1cm and some smaller tumors elsewhere in my liver, Additionally, a “suspicious lung nodule” is showing on the scan.

Now they’ll schedule a CT scan of my chest to figure out the lung nodule issue. And they’ll decide if there’s some additional chemo (besides the Capecitabine pills that I take now) which will help kill off these new tumors. Perhaps the Xeloda is not working the way it’s supposed to? Also, they do say shrinkage can continue (on that large tumor that was radiated) for an additional few months. Or I may need another SIRT procedure.

So now I’m in a holding/waiting pattern again until more tests and doctor consultations are scheduled. Please pray for me if you can. Thanks everyone.

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Hi @sue_in_delaware,
I’m so sorry to hear about the new tumors. The waiting is part can be so challenging and long. I offer a virtual ear and am here to listen and chat should you want or need to talk. I’m sure @Laydeewinx and @Jackiewizardof can relate to the waiting and “back to the drawing board” gut punch.

My thoughts are with you.

Liked by Sue

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This was so helpful to read through. I have no idea what will be suggested to me on April 6 at Moffitt; this has given me some insight into the possibilities, and that makes me feel a little more confident. I remember hearing so many times during my breast cancer treatment “everyone is different” – so I am expecting to hear that through this as well. Sending gentle cyber hugs and positive energy. Thank you all so much for sharing.

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@Laydeewinx
How are you doing on Stivarga?

@colleenyoung I’m not sure if I updated about Xeloda (Capecitabine). After being on it almost 5 months the Onc told me to stop, since it was not working. None of the chemo (FOLFOX, Avastin, FOLFIRI) worked to shrink or keep new tumors from growing.

I just found out I’m KRAS positive and have not had other genetic testing, so the gene mutation might have something to do with all the different drugs not working right?

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Hi Sue,
I found this article about Kras and colorectal cancer research http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/genes-of-colon-cancer-recurrence-differs-among-blacks-whites-and-asians-mayo-clinic-study-finds/ It looks at Kras with respect to race, and underlines that this is a new area of study. Is anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody therapy an option for you? http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1690010-overview

You’re doing radiation for a few more days right? How’s it going?

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Hello, Hopefully someone is still on here. Has anyone experienced headaches weeks after their SIRT procedure?

My husband had his 1st SIRT radiation 6 weeks ago to the bigger blood supply to his liver – stage IV CRC metastasized to liver, tumor at its biggest was about the size of a football then shrunk to half when he was on xeloda among other agents. Had to stop all chemo shortly before the procedure because of the procedure but also because hand/foot and neuropathy got too bad.

Anyway, the week after the procedure he experienced extreme fatigue. 2 weeks ago fatigue came back and sporadic fevers which apparently they aren’t too worried about. This week he started getting headaches… the past 2 days very bad headaches that last almost all day. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a side effect of SIRT? His oncologist may do a head scan if it continues but I’m hoping its just a side effect of the radiation so figured I’d ask the forum. 2nd SIRT is tomorrow so we’ll talk to the interventional radiologist about it but its one thing coming from a doc, another coming from patients that have experienced it. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!!

Also, he has a vein attached to his liver in addition to the 2 blood supplies, does anyone else have this?

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Unfortunately as I posted in my reply to jimd on pancreatic cancer, once your husbands cancer reached that magnitute, there was virtually no known treatment-since a growth that size in the Liver no less which is resposible for blood indicates that the cancerous cells are throughout his body. That is also the reason for the doctor to scan other parts of the body relative to other growths. Stick with and by him as much as you can at this stage of his life and also seek assistance from support groups, so as not to wear yourself beyond what you can take.

Good Luck

irvkay312

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Thank you for your response. They gave 3 years. Treatment is for life extension, not remission. Are you familiar with SIRT? Is your answer to the severity based on the headaches, insinuating he may have a growth there based headaches the past few days?

I am aware of the severity of it and its not an easy. Especially when we were engaged when he got diagnosed, had to cancel our wedding (got married in our living room instead… it was perfect), I just started a job, found out the option of having kids wasn’t an option… if we would even decide to do that after his diagnosis, and on and on. Everyone has a story. Everyones cancer is different too. I don’t have unrealistic expectations that we’re going to grow old together or anything like that but I don’t think we could continue enjoying the time he has left keeping the worst in mind all the time.

They are still talking options and trials and its not over yet. I read one of your responses with your story and I am so incredibly sorry, it’s horrible 🙁 Again, I know we’ll be there at some point and it haunts me constantly. Once the time comes, whether its very soon or years down the line, I don’t know what I’ll do… and I’m in therapy preparing (I went on chat rooms for a while but most people are older than us-36- and its hard to relate). But everyone has a different treatment plan, a different cancer, a different outlook, a different prognosis, etc. Again, I very much appreciate your response and my heart breaks for you. Its been 7 months and have reached acceptance… as much as I can. I am optimistic but at the same time completely realistic and aware of our reality. If I had received your answer up to even 4 months into this it would have COMPLETELY devastated me. Yes, that is the reality we are facing. But you are giving absolute worst case scenario based on ONLY the size of the tumor on his liver and headache and nothing else. You don’t know his full diagnosis or treatment or plan. Now that I have reached acceptance I am not thrown by your answer because I know everyone is different. But months ago I would have burst into tears and been devastated for days or weeks just based on the paragraph you wrote. I’m not trying to be rude or harsh, please don’t take it that way. I just thought it was extremely important for me to tell you this because you’re pointing out the very worst based on just a simple question and that could throw someone over the edge emotionally. For the first time in 7 months my husband is not in a good place emotionally and if he saw this he would swing into full irrational mode thinking he’ll die tomorrow because someone in a chat room, who doesn’t know his full diagnosis and is not his doc, said what you said. Sorry this is so long, again I just don’t want you to think I’m being rude or unrealistic. I’m just trying to explain how these kinds of answers can effect people. Without being an oncologist and knowing more about the diagnosis and treatment plan I don’t think that’s the conclusion that should be pointed out immediately. Especially when it has nothing to do with the question of headaches related to SIRT which is a targeted radiation specifically for CRC metastasis…. and you haven’t been through that or have CRC. What you said bothered me because I think about his death enough and I didn’t want my first chat on here to point that out yet again with minimal info. But I’ll take it with a grain of salt and another reminder that my 36 year old, newlywed husband, soul mate, and the only person that has ever understood me will be leaving me a widow, alone, and I have NO idea how to live without him.

I wish you the very very best. And speaking of everyone being different, my friends husband died of liver cancer recently @ 28 years old. He was in a coma in hospice a while back. They had to pull the plug with the expectation that he’d never come out of the coma. He did. He lived another year. So don’t give up hope yet… you never know what can happen. XO

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Thank you @bbams for voicing your perspective frankly and respectfully to @irvkay312. We all get to our stages in due time. Kay has found peace in hospice care and we are grateful to his sharing frankly about this stage in life. Often it is not talked about.

But let’s get back to you and your husband. It appears that you are well aware of the road ahead, and that you and your husband are focused on living with eyes wide open. I’m tagging @sue_in_delaware in the hopes that she can share her experience with SIRT.

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@colleenyoung

Thank you @bbams for voicing your perspective frankly and respectfully to @irvkay312. We all get to our stages in due time. Kay has found peace in hospice care and we are grateful to his sharing frankly about this stage in life. Often it is not talked about.

But let’s get back to you and your husband. It appears that you are well aware of the road ahead, and that you and your husband are focused on living with eyes wide open. I’m tagging @sue_in_delaware in the hopes that she can share her experience with SIRT.

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Thank you both.

Chris had his procedure on the 10th and it went well. The interventional radiologist had some ideas of what these things could be. Headaches simply could be caffeine withdrawal because Chris decided to give up caffeine 2 days earlier. haha. It’s been better since. The fevers can actually be a sign that the radiation is killing the tumor!!! Apparently that’s a normal reaction to it working. FINGERS CROSSED!!! Baseline CT in 3 weeks but they really don’t start seeing if it worked for 4-6 months.

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@colleenyoung

Thank you @bbams for voicing your perspective frankly and respectfully to @irvkay312. We all get to our stages in due time. Kay has found peace in hospice care and we are grateful to his sharing frankly about this stage in life. Often it is not talked about.

But let’s get back to you and your husband. It appears that you are well aware of the road ahead, and that you and your husband are focused on living with eyes wide open. I’m tagging @sue_in_delaware in the hopes that she can share her experience with SIRT.

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Hi bbams, I’m glad to hear the procedure went well and that the radiologist could problem-solve some of the symptoms with you. Caffeine withdrawal headaches can be brutal. It can be hard to consider that a symptom might not have anything to do with the cancer.

Do keep us posted on the results and symptoms from SIRT.

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@colleenyoung

Thank you @bbams for voicing your perspective frankly and respectfully to @irvkay312. We all get to our stages in due time. Kay has found peace in hospice care and we are grateful to his sharing frankly about this stage in life. Often it is not talked about.

But let’s get back to you and your husband. It appears that you are well aware of the road ahead, and that you and your husband are focused on living with eyes wide open. I’m tagging @sue_in_delaware in the hopes that she can share her experience with SIRT.

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It never even crossed my mind that it wouldn’t be cancer related! Ha. He doesn’t drink a crazy amount of caffeine in the first place (I do) so I didn’t think about that. Headaches could mean very scary things though so that was a relief… and of course he had a little caffeine and it went away. Sigh. I’ll let you know how it goes… when he starts talking to me again :/ Has just been VERY VERY tired since the procedure but he’s looking a little better the last few days 🙂

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I had tace for liver cancer just had mri tumor shows possible left over cancer have to go for ct in november

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@sara1257

I had tace for liver cancer just had mri tumor shows possible left over cancer have to go for ct in november

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Welcome to Connect, @sara1257. I’m curious, did the MRI show traces of cancer in the liver or elsewhere? How were the side effects of the TACE treatment for you?

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Here is the exact phrase, as far as side effects i had a lot of pain in upper back and arm (Low intensity lesion with smooth peripheral thin enhancement in segment 7 of the liver, likely location of previously treated hepatocellular carcinoma. Overall findings are suggestive of posttreatment changes, however in the absence of prior
comparisons a small focus of residual cancer cannot be entirely excluded. Short interval follow-up is recommended.)

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Now I understand why you had an MRI and have to wait until November for a CT scan. The MRI was to provide a baseline (a picture of what your liver looks like now). Then the CT will be used to see if there are any changes that happen over 3 months, which is the 3 months the report mentions. Did your care team explain that to you already? It makes sense, although I bet the waiting is tough.

Is the pain in your upper back and arm gone now?

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