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Question about what we may expect next..


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Hi there,

My dad has had 6 rounds of Carboplatin and Taxol and has had good results. "Significant improvement" is what the onc said. My question is this...he is going for 8 rounds and then another CT scan. Do you think they will give him a break after the 8th round? That seems like a lot of chemo to me, but I'm just not sure. He has done so great with it, but I think he is starting to get really, really tired from it. I would think a person's body would need a break at some point. Is this where maybe something like Tarceva would come into the picture? I realize that I'm asking a lot, I just thought if any of you had a similiar experience it might give me an idea of what we are looking at!

Thanks again! You are all the best!


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Just my ten cents, and I am NOT a medical professional:

The thing that worries me with "taking a break from chemo" that is apparently working against the cancer is that the cancer that is left behind has already show itself to be somewhat resistant to the drugs. If you continue to zap the cancer with the drugs they may already be weakened and could die off. If you discontinue treatment you may give these already somewhat resistant cells a chance to recover and become fully resistant.

I can only tell you what I would do if my docs had offered me 2 extra cycles of chemo and scans had already proved the cancer to be working. I would go with the extra cycles.

Like I said. Just my opinion on the subject. Yes, chemo is toxic and we do get very tired during treatment. But we get the same way with disease progression, and worse.

And most importantly...the decision to continue treatment is your Dad's to make. Just try to provide him with the most accurate and factual information you can so he can make an informed decision.

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Some folks tolerate chemo better than others.Myself I have a hard time with it,and since it is cumulative and keeps building up in the body I am a firm believer in taking chemo breaks and building back up your ability to resume the fight.

Chemo does a nasty number on some of our other body parts as well.

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My husband, Mike has had a lot of chemo . I can tell you that his oncologist believes in continuing treatment, as long as the cancer is still sensitive to chemo. If scans show that the tumors are responding to a certain chemo, he continues on with it until scans show no more response. At the point in which there is no more response or even growth of tumors, he starts on something new. There are many kinds of chemo. Every case is different and every patient is different. A lot depends on the overall condition of the patient, also. There are so many factors that are involved in when to take breaks and what chemo to do next.

Significant improvement is wonderful news!!! Hope it continues.


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After the 8 cycles they may go to another chemo (see my husbands treatments below), there are many things they could do next from radiation to Tarceva. Ask your doctor what he thinks the next step will be. Good luck to your dad, I am glad he is doing well.


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Cathy.......I came here to ask the EXACT same question in relation to my mom! I'm hoping for some answers as well

My mom started chemo in the end of July...she gets Taxol/Carbo every 3 weeks, Irbitux every week. Now, after 3 months, she is almost at the end of her treatment

She has responded very well to these....her tumors have shrunk to near nothing. We are excited and hopeful, but the next steps are unknown!!!

The drs say they will 'monitor' her and give her scans every few months and start her on chemo if there is change


I cant imagine going thru all of this just to leave a tumor in place!It has shrunk by 80% in 3 months.....shouldnt they continue to zap it til its gone!?!? Why leave it to grow and then fight again

As with your father, if he has significant improvement using a certain drug, why wouldnt they keep him on it til it does all it can. Doing anything other seems counteractive

Please, if anyone else has any suggestions for us, or experience, please speak up.

Hoping for the best for your dad

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You have got to remember that this "Roller Coaster Ride" is different for everybody. What is good for one may not be best for another. Sorry I can't directly answer your question. I do know that talking with other people, that most doctors will keep tring different treatments. Some may work while others won't. I think that it is up to the patient to decide how far to fight etc.

Hope that this helps you some. Will be keeping each of you in my prayers.

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Dear Cathy,

I too felt like this a month ago; what happens after the last round of chemo? We were told that they would do another scan in 3 months and see how things are then, if the cancer is spreading they will try a different chemo; I was not pleased with this as Mum had shown remarkable improvement; after her last scan, it showed that her lung cancer was in remission...the bone cancer was still there but stable; Mum needed a break from the chemo, she was gradually getting more and more side effects; We are hoping that she will have at least a few good months, get her strength up and be ready to fight the beast again if need be.

Hope you have good news.

Take care.


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