Six months ago had a psa of 7.2, had a bio done and found cancer cells in prostate only. Bone scan was clean so started a new treatment where I would get a one minute radiation dose five days a week for about three months. One month after treatment had my second psa done and it was about six hundred. A new bonescan showed cancer in spine, sacrum and pretty much throughout my skeleton. Moffitt got my third psa at 1200. Started my treatment at Florida cancer specialists with a triple antigen method. Latest psa is almost zero.
So here I sit with a bad back, two failed surgeries and bone cancer. I was surprised that my oncologist allowed the two back surgeries to be done.
I'm so sorry to hear it got away from you. What a shock that must be. The Moffitt Center has a great reputation and it sounds like you're getting some kind of vaccine/immune therapy. Are you getting hormone therapy as well? Possibly Xgeva or Zometa for the bone mets?
I've never heard of radiation dragged out that long. The trend now is in the other direction - fewer more intense treatments. Was that a clinical trial done at Moffitt also?
The duration I quoted was wrong, it was called rapid arc, you can google that. Currently responding to hormone therapy with a triple antigen approach. Casedec/Avadart/Trelstar and just thinking about having a shot of Xgeva. Have read that with hormone therapy and a PSA of nearly zero Zometa/Xgeva not recomemded because of jaw necrosis. Any truth to that? The prostate cancer is no problem, rather have it, then finding it difficult to walk. Thanks for the mail.
Thanks for clarifying that. I was treated with a RapidArc machine myself. There is no therapy, radiation or surgery, that could have worked for you when there is early undetected metastases, as probably happened to you.
I was also confused about "antigens" and "androgens." Antigens are given to elicit an immune response as part of cancer vaccines like Provenge. Provenge is officially FDA-approved for men who are no longer hormone-responsive, although a doctor may prescribe it "off label." Yervoy is another vaccine that could only be prescribed off-label as of now. But then will your insurance pay for it? They are very expensive. There are several such vaccine/immune therapies now in clinical trials for use in men, like yourself, who are still responsive to hormone therapy. If you are eligible and accepted in one of them, they cover the cost. This is something you may want to discuss with your oncologist.
Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT), sometimes called "Hormone Therapy" shuts off the testosterone and other hormones that are feeding your cancer. It sounds like your "triple blockade" is working well for you.
Jaw necrosis is a rare side effect of Zometa/Xgeva, occurring in only about 2% of people taking it. It is a risk, especially if you've had recent dental work. However, you have to decide if you are willing to take that risk, considering the possible benefit of preventing bone metastases and fractures.
Last edited by Tall Allen; 08-02-2012 at 10:11 AM.
Allen, thanks for the reply. I was born in Los Angeles in 1934 and attended L.A high and Dorsey. Lived in the area until I got married and moved to huntington beach. A small world to put it lightly. Thanks for the info on my prostate cancer.
I too am sorry for your run of bad luck with prostate cancer. I'm hoping you are now on a better track. I've read through Allen's helpful replies and will add a few thoughts. I'm a 12 1/2 year veteran of intermittent triple androgen deprivation (Lupron; Casodex/bicalutamide; Proscar/finasteride/Avodart, with Fosamax or Boniva most of the time, plus other supportive drugs and lifestyle tactics).
I believe what you heard about Zometa or Xgeva is wrong. With Allen, my layman's impression is the risk is fairly small, and either should help you with the bone mets, probably including reduced pain. One expert found avoidance of any jaw issues with dosing of Zometa no more frequently than every three months. However, sometimes it is necessary to push the side effect risk in order to achieve very important benefits. This business is not easy.
sorry to hear about what happened but hoping all is well now.
Zometa or zoledronic acid belongs to bisphosphonate group of drugs which are known to have a side effect leading to jaw necrosis. BUT this happens only when Zometa interferes with healing of jaw bones such as after tooth extraction, implant placement or any other invasive dental treatment.
Visit a dentist every 6 months for regular checkup even if there is no problem and definitly mention about Zometa use before starting any treatment.
As long as your teeth and gums are in a fine condition you dont need to worry at all.