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Chemo - How Many Rounds is Enough?
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Linden, MI
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11 November 2008
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10 January 2009 - 2:52 pm
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I know that is a silly question!  But I have been noticing that many of the dogs on here do 5 rounds of chemo. Nova at this point is having 4 rounds of Carboplatin, but I don't recall her Doctor specifically recommending a specific number of rounds. Thinking back, since I told the Doctor that I was concerned about the expense I am wondering if she recommended 4 rounds as a minimum to keep costs down. Could anyone tell me if 5 or more rounds would be better?

It seems to be working so well, so I worry that 4 might not be enough. Carboplatin is so dang expensive, but I have invested so much money thus far it seems silly just to cut out a round or two if it is more effective. The hardest thing about all this is to know when to say when, when it comes to the expense. I have been putting all of Nova's expenses on a credit card and paying in installments, but each additional treatment means a few more months of payments. Of course I think that Nova is worth every penny, but at times I think I am so emotional about all this that I might not be thinking rationally.Confused

Thanks for your advice!

Sue

Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!

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10 January 2009 - 3:14 pm
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Sue-

I don't have an answer for you but can sure relate to both your question and your financial concerns.  I'm also interested to hear if there is any info which indicates how many treatments work best.  Since there is so much variation in how dogs respond, I wonder if there have been any studies done yet on a large enough group of dogs to really know.  Hang in there – we all, I'm sure, share your worries.

Nancy (Blackjack's mom)


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10 January 2009 - 5:04 pm
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If you are doing carboplatin alone then 4 treatments is standard.  Some oncologists recommend up to 6 doses if the dog is handling it okay and if you can afford it!  Generic carboplatin is now available and the drug cost for Tazzie at 180 # was $120 or so.  Of course there wil be markup and you have to pay for the oncologist's time as well as catheters, etc but I would ask if they are using generic.

I did 5 doses for Tazzie and now that it has been 3 weeks I am starting more anti-oxidants, metronomics , and artemisinin .  Your oncologist may talk to you about these once you finish traditional chemo.

I am glad that Nova is doing so well!

Pam and Tazzie

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2009 - 2:40 am
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Pam, thank you so much for answering this! We don’t know what we’d do without your knowledge and generosity.

Much love,
Spirit Dog Jerry, Rene

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Northern CA
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11 January 2009 - 12:23 pm
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CA Wrigley  is planning on having 6 rounds . Her oncologist is recommending 3 rounds of Carboplatin and 3 rounds of Doxorubicin. I asked her why she wants to do the combo and she told me that even though there are no studies to prove it really matters if you use just one agent, or combo, she feels that if there is “one cell” that is resistent to the one agent, she hopes the other agent will get that cell.

She is being fairly aggressive because since Wrigley's cancer is  the aggressive osteosarcoma, her onclogists said there are other factors such as Wrigley's young age ( 3) and the location of her tumor ( on her scapula) that are not favorable.

After reading the side effects of Doxorubicin, I asked her many questions on her treatment plan and she explained her process very well so I am going to trust her. She did day that if the treatment changes the quality of life at any point we will reconsider what we are doing. So that is Wrigley's plan.

I hear ya on the credit card- I am racking up miles to Hawaii  thats for sure.

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

Linden, MI
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11 January 2009 - 4:16 pm
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Wrigley,

Yes, the side effects of Doxorubicin scared me too, so I opted not to do the combo. If chemo effected dogs the way it does humans, I don't think I would be going the chemo route at all. Are you rotating the two drugs? Or doing 3 carbos, 3 doxo? How many rounds has Wrigley had so far? Are you doing chest x-rays during the treatments, and if so, at what point?

Thanks for your feedback and input, it's helpful to hear about other dogs' treatment plans.

Sue

Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!

Northern CA
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11 January 2009 - 6:05 pm
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I talked about not doing the combo because I was so scared of the side effects.  She told me I could just do the one agent if I wanted, but she likes to do the combo so she  talked me into trying the combo and seeing how she does. She is under the assumption that if there is one cell that doesn't respond to one agent, she hopes by using another agent she will cover that one cell.  She assured me that Wrigley will have 2 nurses with her at all times during the administration of treatment to monitor her.  The Dr. also keeps telling me that chemo on dogs is not like chemo in humans- cause I agree, I don't know if I would go that route if it made them so miserable.

Wrigley's Dr. is planning on alternating the drugs on each treatment. She has only had one round so far, and that was the Carboplatin. We  will do the doxorubicin on the 29th.  Her Dr. wants to do chest xrays after 3 treatments, then after the final treatment.  Wrigley had the first round on  Thursday and as of today ( Sunday) she is acting normal. We have not had any signs of side effects. Her  Dr. told me that if they will come, they would most likely come between Sat and Monday.

We will see how the next round goes. It will be the Doxorobicin. We discussed that if that has terrible side effects on Wrigley we will discontinue and stick to one agent. Her oncologist feels very strongly in making sure the quality of life is number one for the dog- so she will evaluate each treatement as it happens. Hope that helps.

Seanne –

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2009 - 9:07 pm
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Sounds like Wrigley’s oncologist is definitely on top of things. I like how she has presented the different scenarios and options to you, just in case things don’t go the way as planned.

Glad to hear he’s not having any side effects too, that’s a relief I’m sure.

Keep the faith, you are in good hands. We’re rootin for ya!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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