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My Father has Stage IV SCLC


seanmdevine

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Hello all,

My 78 yr old father with advanced COPD was diagnosed with stage IV sclc about a month ago. He starts chemo tomorrow, 1/10/22. I'm trying to educate myself more on what to expect over the next few months. Getting information from him has always been difficult and this new development has not changed things. I live pretty far away from him and have been asked by he and my mom to hold tight for now, but I cannot stop thinking I should be there right now. I would love any input and advice I can get.

I see from others posts that his treatment plan is very consistent with others. I'm curious why treatment takes place over the course of 3 days.

I am brand new here, please forgive my ignorance, I am trying to learn. I've also attached a jpeg that shows the planned treatment.

Thank you,

Sean

Dads prognosis and plan.jpg

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Sean,

Welcome here.

Your dad is indeed fortunate that he is receiving combination chemotherapy that consists of the new immunotherapy drug atezolizumab in combination with two conventional drugs, carboplatin and etoposide. These dictate a 3-day treatment period for each cycle. On day 1, he'll receive infusions for atezolizumab and carboplatin. On each day, he'll receive etoposide. The other drugs on the list are used to prevent side effects during and after the infusion sessions.

Atezolizumab is an exciting new development. It is an immunotherapy drug that is a checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking a protein called PD-L1 that prevents the body's immune cells from attacking cancer cells. Studies suggest works best when given in combination with conventional chemotherapy, in your dad's case, carboplatin and etoposide. Here is additional information on checkpoint inhibitors and how they work. (read starting at the right arrow [>] Immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The reason the therapy takes place over the course of 3 days is that studies show the best results occur from this treatment frequency. I do hope your dad's treatment is a success.

You may have other questions and this is the place for answers.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Nobody likes going for chemo, obviously. I just saw that the treatment plan states his prognosis as good. That's very encouraging.

Tom has given you a great explanation of the chemo regimen. It's impossible to know what side effects your father might have, but he'll be monitored closely. I hope he tolerates his treatments well. 

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My name is Dennis Devine, and am the father of Sean who began this thread. As you can tell from Sean's letter, I have a very loving and involved support system. I completed the first cycle of chemo treatments yesterday, and so far, outside of feeling week, I've experienced no side effects (knock on wood). Thank you for your explanation of what I am experiencing; and especially the good wishes.

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Welcome Dennis,

I'm glad to hear you've completed your first cycle and weakness is your only problem. Let's hope it stays that way.

Here is something I normally pass along to the newly diagnosed.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

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