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standard protocol for recurrence?


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My dad has had a SCLC recurrence. He was NED from Dec. last year until this November. His new spot is very small and is in the left lung only. They are giving him cisplatin regimen with no radiation. Is this type of regimen typical for recurrence? His doc (who is absolutely wonderful) still believes my dad has a chance for a "cure". Just wondering what the standard treatment is for recurrences. My dad did have some problems with radiation the first time around (pericardial effusions, drained once but fluid returned and then a window had to be performed...on both occasions the fluid tested was negative for cancer). He also couldn't swallow from the radiation and was pretty miserable. He tolerated (and is tolerating) chemo very well. No problems with nausea. Could they not being doing radiation again because of the past problems? He was originally dx with SCLC August of 2003.

Thx for any insight,


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If the recurrence is within the previously radiated field then unfortunately further radiation would not be an option. There is no definite standard for treatment of recurrent small cell. If the recurrence is a reasonable length of time after the prior treatment, going back to the same chemotherapy is reasonable. I usually go to a different agent though since the cancer cells that have grown back "survived" the previous treatment and in my mind that means it is very likely that they would be able to survive the same treatment a second time. I prefer either carboplatin with taxol or topotecan alone for recurrence. Again, that is just my preference and not the only "right" treatment.

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