First Prev
of 13
Next Last
gdpawel

Philadelphia, PA

#1 Apr 24, 2006
Chemotherapy-induced toxicities are common and serious clinical problems that adversely impact both the quality of life of cancer patients and the ability of patients to continue treatment for their cancer. Very little has been accomplished to prevent or reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicities such as nerve damage (neurotoxicity), kidney damage (nephrotoxicity) and hearing impairment (ototoxicity).

Taxol / Paclitaxel is an extremely potent chemotherapy drug, often producing a number of side effects in patients. Side effects of Taxol / Paclitaxel include severe allergic reactions, cardiovascular problems, infections developing from white blood cell deficiencies, complete hair loss, joint and muscle pain, irritation at the Taxol and other chemotherapy drugs injection site, low red blood cell count, mouth or lip sore, numbness or burning in the hands and feet, and stomach upset/diarrhea.

In the world of cancer medicine there are few more imprecise and drastic measures than chemotherapy as a treatment. In most cases the process involves poisoning a patient's system with toxic chemicals in an effort to kill malignant cancer cells. Unfortunately, one of the causes of these severe side effects comes not from the anti-cancer drugs being used, but from the solutions used to dissolve them. When a drug won't dissolve in water, another solvent is often used in its place and the side effects of the solvent can cause more discomfort than the anti-cancer drug agent.

Taxol is given into a vein, but in order for the body to absorb the drug, it must first be dissolved in a solution. Taxol's history began over fourty years ago. It was found to be virtually insoluble in water. It had the solubility of a brick. The compound wouldn't dissolve very much in any solution. Without a way to get it into a cancer patient, what good was it? It was discovered that something Taxol would disolve in that "might" work in a reasonably "safe" intravenous solution in humans. It was an elixir made of castor oil and marketed as Cremophor EL. It was the "only" answer. However, this castor-oil carrier is suspected as the culprit behind the misery which includes nausea, vomiting, joint pain, appetite loss, brittle hair and tingling sensations in hands and feet (neuropathy). The much ballyhooed drug was no panacea.

The American Cancer Society, in its press release about a new breast cancer drug approved, mention that the solution can cause dangerous allergic reactions in many people, so patients "must" first take other drugs like steroids and antihistamines in "hopes" to prevent a bad reaction. The solution can also leach chemicals from regular plastic tubes used to deliver medication, so Taxol must be given through special tubing.

Some taxane-induced side effects are so common, and in some instances so severe, that patients and their physicians may delay treatment, reduce the dose or discontinue therapy altogether. While medications designed to prevent or treat nausea, vomiting and decreased white blood cell counts are available, there are currently no treatments for other serious taxane-induced side effects, particularly nerve damage.
gdpawel

Philadelphia, PA

#2 May 24, 2006
Neoadjuvant Taxol Chemo Can Cause Tumor Cell Release

Using a technique that quantifies circulating tumor cells, German investigators have shown that neoadjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel (taxol) causes a massive release of cells into the circulation, while at the same time reducing the size of the tumor. The finding could help explain the fact that complete pathologic responses do not correlate well with improvements in survival.

In the study, breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy gave blood samples in which epithelial antigen-positive cells were isolated. Such cells are detected in most breast cancer patients but are rarely found in normal subjects. The investigators measured the levels of cirulating tumor cells before and during primary chemotherapy with several different cytotoxic agents.

Paclitaxel (taxol) produces the greatest degree of tumor shrinkage but also the greatest release of circulating tumor cells. In three different paclitaxel-containing regimens, circulating cell numbers massively increased, whereas tumor size decreased. These cells remained in the circulation for at least five months after surgery.

The tumor shrinks, but more cells are found in the circulation. This corresponds with a high pathologic complete response during paclitaxel treatment, but in the end, this is not reflected in improved survival. These cells are alive in the circulation. The results indicate that monitoring of circulating tumor cells can contribute to understanding of tumor-blood interactions and may provide a valuable tool for therapy monitoring in solid tumors.

Twenty-Seventh Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (abstract 6014)

(Oncol News Int'l, Vol 14,#5, May '05)
gdpawel

Mount Laurel, NJ

#3 Jun 25, 2006
Taxol Causes Tumor Cell Release

Using the CellSearch technique that quantifies circulating tumor cells, German investigators have shown that neoadjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel (taxol) causes a massive release of cells into the circulation, while at the same time reducing the size of the tumor. The finding could help explain the fact that complete pathologic responses do not correlate well with improvements in survival.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cancer cells that have detached from solid tumors and entered the blood stream. This can begin the process of metastasis, the most life-threatening aspect of cancer. To metastasize, or spread cancer to other sites in the body, CTCs travel through the blood and can take root in another tissue or organ.

In the study, breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy gave blood samples in which epithelial antigen-positive cells were isolated. Such cells are detected in most breast cancer patients but are rarely found in normal subjects. The investigators measured the levels of cirulating tumor cells before and during primary chemotherapy with several different cytotoxic agents.

What this recent study has shown is that in three different paclitaxel (taxol) containing regimens, as the tumor collapses (a clinical response, not cure), it produces the greatest release of circulating tumor cells. The study has not looked at any other combination regimens.

The tumor shrinks, but more cells are found in the circulation. This corresponds with a high pathologic complete response during paclitaxel treatment, but in the end, this is not reflected in improved survival. These cells are alive in the circulation. The results indicate that monitoring of circulating tumor cells can contribute to understanding of tumor-blood interactions and may provide a valuable tool for therapy monitoring in solid tumors.

The results of this kind of study are coming out slowly and quietly and indicate that taxol containing regimens didn't prolong survival over other more conventional and less expensive cytotoxic drugs. It may indeed give clincial response (tumor shrinkage), sometimes impressive, however, these are mostly short-lived and relapses after a response to taxanes (taxol) are often dramatic.

Even if one or more chemotherapy regimen is identified as being likely to work on a particular cancer, has the science advanced to tell us whether application of the chosen chemotherapy regimen will not cause other changes that also cause cancer to later return and perhaps be even harder to treat? Is it a case of chemotherapy being bad, in cases where it apparently works? Traditional chemotherapy is mutagenic (changes in form), you might kill off a whole lot of cancer, only to cause a mutation in the remaining cancer, such that the remaining cancer behaves in a more agressive fashion.

These studies tell us that much more work needs to be done, and oncologists need to adapt treatment to the patient. There are over 100 chemotherapeutic agents, all of which have approximately the same probability of working. The tumors of different patients have different responses to chemotherapy. It requires individualized treatment based on testing individual properties of each patient's cancer.

(Oncol News Int'l, Vol 14,#5, May '05)
deb macpherson

Rozet, WY

#4 Nov 27, 2006
Did anyone have bruised fingernails and toes and fungus looking nails from taxol
deb macpherson

Rozet, WY

#5 Nov 27, 2006
Did anyone get bruisin and fungus like fingernails and toes from taxol? What to help get rid?1415
Jerry

United States

#6 Dec 2, 2006
How long does it take for your hair to grow back?
Helen S

UK

#7 Jan 5, 2007
deb macpherson wrote:
Did anyone get bruisin and fungus like fingernails and toes from taxol? What to help get rid?1415
I have haemoraging under the fingernails, especially
on the right hand as I am right-handed and it happens as I handle things and put pressiure on the nail. The nail bed has also gone 'mushy' and smells awful so I now put antisceptic cream on the tips of my fingers 3 times a day. This removes the smell for a few hours. I found soaking the fingers for 10 mins in dilute antisceptic made it more mushy and the nail started to lift so have abandoned that idea.
Elsie

York, SC

#8 Apr 8, 2007
deb macpherson wrote:
Did anyone have bruised fingernails and toes and fungus looking nails from taxol
My finger nails came off
Elsie

York, SC

#9 Apr 8, 2007
My finger nails came off and I have nerve damage in my feet- cant sleep at night
Linda

AOL

#10 May 13, 2007
deb macpherson wrote:
Did anyone have bruised fingernails and toes and fungus looking nails from taxol
Yes , this is one of the side effects of Taxol , and this has happened to me also , it will go away.
Becky

AOL

#11 Nov 1, 2007
I have nerve pain in the handa and feet after just one dose of Taxol. Am thinking about not taking any more. Will the nerve pain go away?
Deb

Hartland, MI

#12 Jan 1, 2008
It has been 9 months since my last dose of Taxol and ever since then I have had stiffness and pain in my joints, especially knees, elbows, and hands. The neuropathy has improved, but the joint pain and stiffness has not. Anyone else experience this?
Jan

Twin Falls, ID

#13 Jan 16, 2008
Did anyone have rapid weight gain--8-12 lbs of fluid being third spaced( feet, legs, hands etc)? I have had 3 taxol treatments and my weight goes up average of 10 lbs per treatment. I have all the symptoms of CHF, but the water weight gain has not gone into my lungs. It seems to be third spacing everywhere else though.
Farah

Trinidad and Tobago

#14 Jan 21, 2008
My aunt did 5 sessions of taxol and was unable to complete the last one. She's unable to sleep at night and her ankles are swollen since the first session of chemo. She tried taking sleeping pills but none seem to work. Now she has difficulty walking and getting about due to her ankles. This was about 5 months ago. She is very worried about this. Is this normal and any advice?
Lia

Northampton, UK

#15 Jan 26, 2008
The hair comes back around half a centimetre per month. The pain & numbness and discoloured nails will go away after sometime. So, be positive and cheerful and things would be alright.
AprilC

Hickory, NC

#16 Feb 6, 2008
A combination of Taxol and Cisplatin have caused much terrible hardship for me. I have CIPN (chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy) in hands, but especially in feet. My last treatment of this combination was October 2006. One and a half years later, I am now trying to lose 30 pounds gained on Cymbalta. I have seen two neurologists, placing me on Cymbalta for nerve pain. The symptoms are the classic pin-pricking, needle-sticking, burning sensations. My hands feel like I'm rubbing them on sandpaper when I touch fabrics or textures. I can only wear the namebrand Merrell shoes (mules) with no heels in the back-$100/pair. After realizing just last week that the weight gain came from Cymbalta, which only masks or covers up the nerve damage symptoms, I am now weaning myself off this medication.
I have found that Oil of Oregano helps to relieve the foot pain. I will be trying Hypericum, a homeopathy treatment, and will be trying Helichrysum, an essential oil treatment instead of Cymbalta or Neurontin. What a nightmare!
Ovarian Cancer (Stage IIIC) at 41 years old.
Karen

Wellsville, OH

#17 Feb 11, 2008
April,

I had 12 treatments of taxol, which I just finished two weeks ago. I read an article on the website for the American Society of Clinical Oncologists that talked about research done in Italy for chemo-induced neuropathy. They recommended the use of an enxyme call Acetyl-L-Carnitine, with a dose of 3 grams per day. I checked with my doctor, who said it was ok to try it. It was a miracle - most of my pain went away after only two days. One thing - you have to be vigilant in taking the ALC - I found that missing even one dose would let the pain start creeping back in. Give it a try. You can buy it at health food stores or online.
AprilC wrote:
A combination of Taxol and Cisplatin have caused much terrible hardship for me. I have CIPN (chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy) in hands, but especially in feet. My last treatment of this combination was October 2006. One and a half years later, I am now trying to lose 30 pounds gained on Cymbalta. I have seen two neurologists, placing me on Cymbalta for nerve pain. The symptoms are the classic pin-pricking, needle-sticking, burning sensations. My hands feel like I'm rubbing them on sandpaper when I touch fabrics or textures. I can only wear the namebrand Merrell shoes (mules) with no heels in the back-$100/pair. After realizing just last week that the weight gain came from Cymbalta, which only masks or covers up the nerve damage symptoms, I am now weaning myself off this medication.
I have found that Oil of Oregano helps to relieve the foot pain. I will be trying Hypericum, a homeopathy treatment, and will be trying Helichrysum, an essential oil treatment instead of Cymbalta or Neurontin. What a nightmare!
Ovarian Cancer (Stage IIIC) at 41 years old.
patty

Baxter Springs, KS

#18 Feb 21, 2008
i have extreme tingling and numbness in fingers and feet and toes. the left side is worse than the right side. the ends of my fingers feel like i have been learning to play the guitar. they feel burned or calloused or something. nails lifted. big toenails lifted and were really sore. blisters underneath. knees kill me when i try to exercise. it has been exactly 3 months today since my last taxol treatment. the numbness didn't start until about the last month. it is worse at night and i wake up 4 or 5 times a night with the hand feeling like it fell asleep. i am trying to exercise and get all this poison out of my system, but it is hard. i, too, gained about 12-14 pounds. i just assumed it was due to the prednisone pre-meds. it is very hard to get rid of this weight. my joints hurt when i try to run or do squats or anything that involves bending.
am i alone?
Mart

Rowlett, TX

#19 Feb 26, 2008
Becky wrote:
I have nerve pain in the handa and feet after just one dose of Taxol. Am thinking about not taking any more. Will the nerve pain go away?
I just finished my first course of Taxol
I wont take anymre. It was painful I wanted to die *I am going to
Cancer cEnter Treatments of Americakk]screw these poisohsl
winnie

Central District, Hong Kong

#20 Mar 14, 2008
Deb wrote:
It has been 9 months since my last dose of Taxol and ever since then I have had stiffness and pain in my joints, especially knees, elbows, and hands. The neuropathy has improved, but the joint pain and stiffness has not. Anyone else experience this?
I have exactly the same experience as you, now is my 8 months since last dose of Taxol. Mine started off mainly the left knee and extended to the right knee, elbows and hands. I tried to do regular excercise to avoid my joints become more stiff. It does help.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 13
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Bristol Myers Squibb Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Forxiga For Type 2 Diabetes Is A Potential Bloc... (Dec '12) Jul '14 Danni b 3
Bristol Palin says abstinence best path for teens (May '09) Mar '14 BPT 2,618
Erbitux fails pancreatic cancer trial (Apr '07) Nov '13 USAsince1680 3
Pfizer acquires NextWave Pharmaceuticals (Nov '12) Sep '13 Nico 5
Bristol-Myers to acquire Kosan Biosciences (Jun '08) Sep '13 Augustus 3
FDA approves new drug for advanced breast cancer (Oct '07) Sep '13 Sawyer 2
Dueling Fools: Eli Lilly Bear (Jun '07) Aug '13 Warren 5
•••

Bristol Myers Squibb People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••