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Opdivo, Worse then the Cancer??


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My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer met to liver a year ago.  He did chemo from last november to about two months ago, 6 or 7 weeks ago he started OPDIVO which was recently approved.  While he had some side effects on the chemo, but really nothing that slowed him down, this new "drug" has devistated him.  He had 3 treatments once every two weeks for 6 weeks, and it was like he was ready to die. It all coinicided with this new Opdivo treatment.


We actually had to hospitalize him last week for a few days.  It's like his body is attacking itself and not the cancer.  But his blood work was supposedly normal, and all the tests.


Catscan taken last week revealed no growth or decline and the actual cancer was stable.


Has anyone been on this? Has anyone else had every possible side effect? Can you come back from the side effects?



Thank you,




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I can't answer all your specific questions on Opdivo because it is a new drug and I never received it.  Literature says there are minimal side-effects, but when reading the fine print, reports some nasty side effects for a small percentage of patients.  Your dad must be in that percentage.


From your post, I conclude your dad's first line chemo did not arrest the disease (not an uncommon outcome by the way).  Thus Opdivo was selected as a second line treatment.  You report a CT scan showed the cancer was stable after taking Opdivo.  To your third questions: "can you come back from side effects?"  Yes.  Moreover, if Opdivo is working, it is doing what it is designed to do - arrest the cancer and provide extended life.  


Assume you or another family member are with your dad when he has consultations with his physicians, and the scope of side effects are completely discussed and understood.  I say that because during my chemo, I wasn't lucid enough to ask TPQs (terribly preceptive questions) about my treatment and that job was handled by my wife.


Stay the course.



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