Philip passed away on September 12, 2004.
I am a 37 yr old male who was diagnosed with stage IVb thymic carcinoma back in 2000. The pathology dept that initially reviewed an enlarged lymph node that had been removed from the base of my neck mis-diagnosed it. I do not want to convey an unfair/inaccurate impression of the HMO nor the oncologist. This is especially important to me as I along with others have high respect and confidence in my oncologist regardless of the mis-diagnosis by the pathology department. My intention of including the incident of mis-diagnosis was to indicate this possibility that in my opinion could primarily be caused as a result of the rarity of this cancer and the importance of a standard second opinion acquired through consultation with a medical organization with significant resources such as a highly respected hospital/university, i.e. Stanford University Medical Center on the west coast.
As a result, I was prescribed Cisplatin and Fluorouracil (5FU). After the first month, my pleural effussion-related discomfort went away. During that first month, but after I had already started the aforementioned chemo combination, I received the second opinion diagnosis (thymic carcinoma), but I remained on the same chemo for 4-5 cycles since the pleural effussion-related discomfort went away and CT scan(s) were indicating positive tumor response. After the chemo, I received radiation therapy in the thymus region. I had a 2yr period of remission before recurrence was confirmed in 02/2003.
The next chemo combination that was tried was five cycles of Oxaliplatin and Xeloda. Again, my pleural effussion-related discomfort went away and subsequent CT scans indicated some positive response. Treatment stopped in September 2003, but I had another recurrence within the same month.
In October 2003, my oncologist and I decided to go to a single agent, Doxil. I will send an update via Yahoo! Groups as things progress. Email me if you have any questions.
February 2, 2004
After two cycles, I have stopped the doxcil treatment due to the mixed result of my last CT scan (01/16/04) and increased side effects. There is some positive response (reduction) in one area, but there is some increase in tumor growth in another area of the pleura.
Location: San Francisco
Diagnosis: Stage IVa Thymic Carcinoma
Cell Type: lymphoepithelioma
Recurrence Date(s): 02/2003
Radiation: Yes 2000
(1)Cisplatin, Flourouracil (5FU) (4 cycles) 2000. Remission period:
(approx) 24 months.
(2)Oxaliplatin, Xeloda (5 cycles) 2003. Remission period: (approx) 1