3 week radiation cycle?

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3 week radiation cycle?

by tamiclark on Mon Nov 15, 2010 02:58 AM

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My dad is starting radiation tomorrow but they are only doing a 3 week cycle for his GBM 4. We are at Mayo Clinic in MN. Has anyone had a 3 week cycle? Why are they only doing 3 weeks?

RE: 3 week radiation cycle?

by GBMhubby on Mon Nov 15, 2010 03:26 AM

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Cancer treatment dosage level is a balance between benefit and harm. A shortened radiation period is considered by some as optimal for elderly patients.  Could that be the situation?, no age was stated.  Elderly in neuro-oncology is sometimes defined as above age 70, but it also depends on the functional status of the patient (impact of the tumor/surgery).

 GBM care in the elderly is a subject of professional debate, as there is no defined standard of care as there is for those 18-70.  The Mayo Clinic is a good choice for neuro-oncology services, based on the research publication rate of their staff.

RE: 3 week radiation cycle?

by furcht on Mon Nov 15, 2010 04:30 AM

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I just recently finished a *two week cycle. I suppose that age and/or overall health could be variables; I'm 39, exercise daily, eat sensibly and, other than this craziness, maintain great physical/mental health. Given my otherwise healthy status, my docs (and I) decided to hit the menace as hard as possible with everything at our disposal. I received the theoretical limit of 60 Gy IMRT over 10 sessions (+TMZ +Avastin). The radiation oncologist (who came highly recommended) believes this is the best approach, and my intuition and common sense tells me he's right. My long-winded point is that this could, notwithstanding the diagnosis, be perceived as a very positive thing. And as an added bonus, there are fewer interruptions to life in progress with visits to the cancer center and the 'ray gun' (as I came to call it). Good luck to you and your dad :).

~Doug.

RE: 3 week radiation cycle?

by number9 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 07:18 AM

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Am finding the radiation cycle/"elderly" information interesting.

Just wish to share my Mom's path ... under the "elderly" component.  She was extremely healthy and active at 69 when dx on 12/9/09 GBM in left parietal and occipital lobes.  Symptoms ... 2 months of increasing disorientation/writing deficits, unexplained tears and constant racing heart beats (which intense cardiologist testing resulted in excellent heart health).  In the ER, the NO explained, when the heart checks out fine, yet continues with consistent rapid heart beats, it is the brain signalling the heart that something is terribly wrong with the brain.  As for her tears, it was the pressure of the tumor on her emotional sensories. Following first craniotomy resection, began seven weeks of radiation (5 days on, 2 days off) and Temodar daily ... 12/21/09 through 2/5/10.  Post treatment MRI resulted in showing agressive growth from during radiation/Temodar.  GBM regrowth was put on backburner while PE and lung infection (chemo induced immune defect) closely almost took her life.  IVC filter was put in immediately.  DVT then came into the mix.  2nd resection was unable to proceed until lung infection cleared.  Proceeded with craniotomy 4/15/10.  Took a severe hit visually, physically and cognitively, right side compromised, requiring a stay at an inpatient rehab to relearn (as best she could) walking / standing up & down / motor skills / dates / times / reading / writing / strengthen of vision / etc.  Avastin every 14 days via PowerPort with Temodar daily since 6/9/10.  Avastin keeping "stable" results.  However her quality of life was further reduced, with every compounded Avastin infusion unleashing increasing pain (rare side effect, but the worst side effect she's endured).  Went through weeks and weeks of her encountering severe reactions in trying various pain relief medications to help her, until Fentanyl 100 patch and a by-mouth narcotic finally minimized pain.  Mom maintains that pain relief dose, plus dex, plus many of other medications involved (Kepra, Bactrim, Fluconazol, Warfarin, etc.), continues Avasting/Temodar, and is in a holding pattern for now ... wishing for more QOL to return.  Maybe that's where the age factor catches up with her, after all she's been through these past 11 months.  ???  I don't know?  If we were to gauge her spirit, she is in her prime shadowboxer mode.  For that, so grateful!

Tami - May Mayo's care offers encouraging results for your Dad.  Hoping so much HOPE for you and yours.

De/number9 - full time caregiver for my number1/Mom.

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