Jump to content

Hospitals offering Chemosensitivity Tests


Recommended Posts

I know there is a lab in California that does the testing, but I don't know the name of it. (I know that isn't much of a help) I don't know if hospitals do it themselves or send it out to a private lab.

Perhaps try searching "Chemosensitivity" on a web search?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Conley,

I've heard of a few places and labs that will do this sort of thing. A search on Chemosensitivity and Cell Culture Drug Resistance brought up the following labs that do this testing. I've also heard that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America will process and send out for this testing on behalf of a patient if asked.

·Oncotech Incorporated 1791 Kaiser Avenue

Irvine, CA 92614-5705

Phone: 800.576.6326

Fax: 949.474.8147

Email: support@oncotech.com

·Rational Therapeutics

3601 Elm Avenue

Long Beach, CA 90807-4003

Phone: 562-989-8128

Fax: 562.989.8160

Email: RationalT@aol.com

·Weisenthal Cancer Group

15140 Transistor Lane

Huntington Beach, CA 92649-1150

Phone: 714.894.0011

Fax: Unknown

Email: 72203.2235@compuserve.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Yes Andrea,

They will take a sample of your tumor through a biopsy, and then subject it to various chemo agents to determine which ones are effective on your particular tumor, and which are not. The idea is to not randomly subject a patient to chemo and build up toxicity in their body with drugs that are ineffectual for them.

I've asked our first doctor about this, and he dismissed it as experimental and unproven. I've been meaning to ask our new doctor about it, but now after 6 months of treatment Keith's toxicity is probably already at the breaking point, but we'll see.

God Bless


Link to comment
Share on other sites


thanks for the information. This would have been a good idea for my Dad since he had allergic reactions to four different kinds of Chemos. Not sure if Chemo even still and option for him. After the last Chemo they decided that the Chemo was making him to fatigued and stopped. They tried Iressa and now stopped that for a while thinking that the Iressa might be overtaxing his Liver.

Did you get your new Doctor? I keep trying to convience my parents to go for a second opionin and they just keep saying oh well lets wait until Next week after the appointment.

What kinds of alternative treatment have you been looking into?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This might have been a good idea for him. However, it is pretty new in fact there are only a few labs that will do this that I could find on the internet and very few hospitals that do this. It is not covered by insurance at all yet and costs roughly $2000. Plus a cancer survivor must be strong enough initially to go through surgery to have a section of their tumor removed to test. All this said, I wish that I knew of this prior to Keith starting chemo, but even then I don't know what we would have done. It takes time to process, and in the beginning we were so scared and anxious to get him started fighting this that we couldn't have comprehended waiting a couple of months for results. I just don't know.

Keith and I, with the help of his family have been scouring the internet and dozens of hospitals, doing mailing consultations to doctors nationwide looking for alternate treatment protocols and advice. I can not stress enough how valuable I feel second opinions are. Even while retaining your original doctor, there is nothing wrong with getting more minds involved. Currently we are working with a new doctor, Dr. Raheem in Milwaukee but we have had a mailing consultation with Dr. Richard Warner in NY Mount Sinai Hospital and we went to New Orleans to see Dr. Lowell Anthony at LSU. All three doctors now confer via the telephone and discuss opinions on the best treatment options. Our doctor admits he doesn't know everything, has seen everything, and he says it is not a matter of Ego, it is a matter of life.

In the beginning if we hadn't gone to the Mayo clinic for a second opinion, we would still be working under the assumption Keith has SCLC, now that we've checked and double, triple checked, we have more hope, more options really just more peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to beat this monster.

As far as alternative treatments go, Keith was taking a bunch of supplements up until recently. He just couldn't maintain the lifestyle and volume of pills he had to take. He was on a regiment that had him taking about 80 supplemental tablets a day. By the time he was done taking those, and the bloating/gas they caused, he barely had room to eat normal food. So recently he has decided that he is just going to eat healthy. He is going to eat fresh spinach and veggies every day, plenty of grapes and Red Raspberries (both which contain anti-carcinogenic agents) http://www.prostarnutrition.com/27299/4080.htm.

We have been researching a lot of clinical trials and experimental studies. The ones that interest us for Keith's particular tumor type are the Octreoscan Indium 111 clinical trial being done by Dr. Anthony at LSU for Neuroendocrine tumors (Carcinoids). We are actually most likely going to join that trial after Keith completes two cycles of his new low dose chemo.


The other study of real interest to us is being done in Rotterdam, Holland. It is LU177 or lutetium 177. This is similar to the Indium 111 concept of attaching radiated material to hormones. Your specific tumors are tested to see what hormones if any they uptake, and they attach a radioactive isotope to it for direct targeted radiotherapy. This study has been having some amazing results for NSCLC, SCLC and Carcinoid patients alike. However the problem with this particular study is that Ytrium or LU177 is a radioactive isotope that is not approved for use in the US so you would have to go to Europe for the trial, and it can get very expensive (insurance probably won't cover).

Finally, one that I've been keeping my eye on is the lung cancer vacinne GVAX which they are studying in Dallas. This trial also takes a biopsy of your tumor and makes a vaccine out of it so that your bodies own immune system will recognize the cancer cells and kill them. The best part is that with your own immune system working, there are supposedly no side effects. But again, you will have to be strong enough to go through the surgical biopsy. There is a good posting by niececola with articles on this under the research forum. http://www.buy2k.net/lungcancersurvivors/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5925

I know your father is depressed, and it is easy to go there when you are facing this horrible nightmare and its grim statistics. But please tell him to hold onto hope. There are new treatments coming out every day that can potentially cure this, and if not, can prolong and improve quality of life until that cure is found. With God's help, these doctors will find that cure.

Sorry this got so long. If you ever want to talk, you can e-mail me or PM me.

God Bless,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Carleen,

Just a quick note regarding the waiting period for the chemosensitivity testing results. From what I understood from my oncologist -- the one time he used it w/ a patient, the lab they went through in California had a two-week turn around time as far as getting them the results. Of course, when you want to get started NOW, two weeks can seem like an eternity....but it sure beats a few MONTHS!

I also saw that you are researching vaccine trials -- I had looked into one in at the University of Kentucky. I believe it was privately funded by the University. It had been put on hold for a while, but was supposed to start up again in January. Might be worth looking into. I believe it is relatively similar to the one in Dallas. I will attach a link below:


Thinking of you,


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Many years ago I worked at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, CA, and there was a researcher there working on this. They would take cancer cells from a patient, put them in many different petrie dishes and administer different chemo drugs to each one, to see which one or ones fought the cancer most effectively. So it wasn't really to see how the patient tolerated treatment, but rather how good the treatment was at killing the cancer. This was in the early 1990s, and the research looked very promising, but I haven't kept up with it. If you're interested, you might try calling the John Wayne Cancer Institute and asking if they can tell you which hospitals are using it now, if any. Hope this is helpful. I think the whole idea is fascinating and has a lot of promise.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.