A recent clinical study conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) found that continuing Avastin for advanced colorectal cancer patients with a combination of chemotherapy and this tumor-targeting drug appears to prolong survival among those who have undergone the combination therapy at an early stage of disease. With this background, PharmaFlare analyzed patient experiences regarding the efficacy of Avastin in combination with chemotherapy drugs for advanced colorectal cancer.
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This brief research note on patient views regarding Avastin in combination with chemotherapy drugs shows:
• The percentage of patients and caregivers experiences who were satisfied with the efficacy of Avastin in combination with chemotherapy drugs;
• The percentage of patients and caregivers who were using this combination but for whom Avastin was not adequately effective;
• The percentage of patients and caregivers who were using this combination and were concerned with the side effects of Avastin.
Sample of a caregiver’s view about a patient who was satisfied with the efficacy of Avastin in combination with chemotherapy drugs:
This is the first time I am leaving a message on this site, however, I have read your messages every day for the past 6 months. My brother, age 48, in perfect health was diagnosed 6 months ago with Colon cancer Stage 4 with mets to both lobes of his liver. He was not a candidate for liver resection. He was devestated to say the least, as was all of his family. He has a wife and 2 young children. After receiving chemo for the past 5 months, Folfox V (with 3-day pump infusion) with Avastin, he received his first pet scan He was terrorized to get the results. The oncologist told him that his pet scan was excellent; there were no lesions in the liver. We are all thrilled! He will continue with oral chemo and Avastin.
Sample of a patient’s view who was taking this combination but for whom Avastin was not adequately effective:
Hi Lorraine, I just came across your message and wanted to let you know that I have taken Avastin and had no side effects whatsoever. I was diagnosed in April 2004 with stage IV colon cancer with mets to the lungs, had colon resection then began chemo with oxaliplatin/5FU/leucovorin and Avastin. It worked well and my scan last February showed no signs of disease. I was then put on Avastin only as a maintenance. Unfortunately it must have not worked because my latest CT scan showed a new nodule and a recurrent one in my lungs. So I will begin my next chemo with camptosar/5FU/leucovorin and Avastin this Thursday. (He wants me to have a longer break from the oxaliplatin.) I will do whatever it takes to beat this evil. One thing you have to do before each dose of Avastin is have your urine checked for protein. Mine was usually just a trace amount, but then it suddenly went up quite high. They took me off the Avastin and I had a 24 hour urine collection. My kidneys were fine and my doctor is not quite sure why the Avastin produces so much protein. There is also a chance of higher blood pressure. I am sorry this is so long. I tend to get wordy in trying to explain simple things. I pray your husband is doing well. I have heard that patients who get the rash have a much better prognosis and that you want the rash. Your husband is sooo blessed to have you looking out for him.
Sample of a caregiver’s view about a patient who was taking this combination but was concerned about the side effects of Avastin:
My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer withs mets to the lymph nodes and liver 2 years ago.His first chemo treatment consisted of the same as your husband. His cea dropped from 2000 to 300 after 3 treatments. The avastin is very powerful but unfortunately we had to discontinue it because one of the side effects of avastin is that it causes blood clots. One morning he woke up in severe pain and couldn't walk, he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance where they found blood clots in each leg plus one clot the size of a thumb flapping on the aorta. We had to discontinue the avastin and he now has to take cumadin/ warfin to control blood clotting. We are now trying to get ready to start the same treatment again but he will have to receive shots everyday to control his blood clotting. Unfortunately this is a common side effect of avastin, some people have this and others don't, I would have them give him a pro-time test if they are not already doing so just as a precaution. With all chemo treatments there are side effects but very worth the outcome. I'm very excited that we will be starting the avasitn again and very hopeful that we will receive the same results that we had before minus the clots.He still gets light headed but the doctor gave him testosterone patches to help control it along with the sweats and hunger issues. I hope this helps with some of your concerns. By the way my husband was diagnosed 2 years ago and was told he had 2 months to live, they sent him home with a bottle of 500mg vicodin and told there was nothing they could do. That was not acceptable to me so with the change of Doctor, research, pure stubbornness and the help of this form he's still here today!!