A Move from California and a Second Chance
Patient DiagnosesA 67 year-old Caucasian female with a history of: pheochromocytoma (cancer of the adrenal gland), breast cancer and diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer after presenting with a pleural effusion (fluid build up in the tissues between the lung and chest cavity) in August 2008.
Patient Treatment History
As a result of having tried all available options, she was referred to Bruckner Oncology by her oncologist in California.
Patient ChallengeThis patient posed a number of challenges as outlined below:
Clinical Treatment PlanThe patient was started on low-dose multidrug chemotherapy which included drugs which she had failed in the past combined at low doses with other chemotherapeutic drugs to optimize synergistic interactions.
The rationale behind this plan is that it has been well documented through literature and experience at Bruckner Oncology that by adding a drug or drugs to a failed regimen, the “failed” regimen can actually salvaged thus giving failed drugs a second chance to work. Also, by utilizing low doses from one half to one third of standard dose, we can minimize the toxicity of a regimen and treat patients, such as the woman in this case study, who would not tolerate a standard high dose regimen.
Outcomes/ResultsThe patient tolerated the therapy remarkably well. Her tumor marker CA -125 decreased from a high of 1400 to low of 77 and she has continued on this regimen for over a year and 3 months. Her CT scan showed interval improvement with residual peritoneal tumor implants. A small quantity of residual ascites is present and residual bilateral small complex pleural effusions with findings suggesting interval pleurodesis.
The patient was considering hospice over a year and a half ago and has since had an excellent response to our innovative regimen, which took into account her previous treatments, her age, and her comorbidities. A regimen was specifically designed for her and her cancer. Despite the fact that she received multiple chemotherapy drugs simultaneously, her quality of life has dramatically improved.