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Guest Nshirley

Immunotherapy and chemo combo

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Guest Nshirley

Has anyone had immunotherapy and chemo in combination? My mother in law can't decide if she wants immunotherapy alone or her other option was immunotherapy and chemo togerher. She has adenocarcinoma in all three lobes of her right lung and doctor says he's treating it as if it stage 4. He says the combo would give her the best chance of ling term remission. She is nervous of the side effects and she'll be able to tolerate it. Can anyone advise? She is so upset and overwhelmed. Wouldn't the immunotherapy and chemo cancel each other out? Thank you!

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Nshirley,

Combination therapy with immunotherapy and conventional chemo is a new concept.  Immunotherapy treatment alone is a new concept so there may not be a lot of experience base on this forum to answer your question.

I searched some oncology sites and found this article for your consideration.  It seems to support what your MIL's doctor is suggesting.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Nshirley,

Immunotherapy (at least some of them) is not cancelled out by chemo, in fact, it can help the immune system get a jumpstart because the chemo will hopefully slow/stop the growth of the cancer, making it more manageable for the immune system to attack.  My mom is receiving immunotherapy (Keytruda) and Chemo (Alimta/Carboplatin). She will receive her 5th treatment on Friday.  We were told during her treatment planning that earlier in the year, new treatment results had been released about Ketruda alone versus Keytruda/Chemo.  The combo raises the effectiveness and overall survival rate.  For the combo, my mom's recommendation is 8 sessions of Keytruda/chemo and then proceed with Keytruda alone.  She has already had her mid-treatment scan and the tumor on her trachea is shrinking, in fact it has shrunken enough that she was able to have her trachea stent removed a week ago.

I don't know how effective combining chemo with other immunotherapies are, but that is my mom's experience with Keytruda.  

As for the side effects, my mom has done so-so, but she has had other health issues affecting her as well.  She had chemo for her initial lung cancer diagnosis 2 years ago, she had the typical symptoms - heart burn, loss of hair, and lack of energy.  This time, she has the heart burn, thinning hair (she will not lose it all), and flu-like symptoms for 5-6 days after treatment.  Since her tumor is shrinking, we definitely feel that the 6 months of dealing with chemo symptoms are worth it in the long run, but everyone is different.

Hope this info helps a bit.

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