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No Replacement for Paclitaxel

I met with a radiation oncologist and a gynecological oncologist today. It was frustrating.  The biopsy confirmed the same kind of cancer as was on my ovary found in my uterus and my vagina.  So, it has been decided that I will do radiation.  I'm okay with that, but I'm frustrated that they will continue me only on the carboplatin for Chemo, and not try me with a replacement for the paclitaxel,  that I keep having reactions to. 

The doctor I spoke with told me that my reactions are to the class of drug, and that there is nothing to replace that with. Has anyone else heard this? 

In the end, the radiation oncologist did say the carboplatin makes radiation work much better, so there's that.... I just feel like my body is fighting treatments all along the way. 


  • Fearless_Moderator
    @jrh78 I was highly allergic to paclitaxel and gemcitabine was used as a replacement in combination with the carboplatin.  That said, I'm not about to second guess a medical professional. If you are still not understanding the rationale for not substituting another chemo drug for the paclitaxel tell your oncologist you need more clarity or ask for a consult with a medical oncologist.  They specialize in the chemical treatment interventions.  It could be that anything outside of the carbo would conflict with the radiation.  It could be you're not classed as having OVC, given your cancer started in your uterus and vagina and alternatives are not viable for your "type".  Often the answers we get are not what we want to hear, but I am a firm believer in the need to satisfy natural and normal curiosity; one of the few things we have available to us in which we have some measure of control.    Keep asking the questions until you have an answer that make sense. 
  • @Fearless - Vol Mod thank you for your response.  My cancer did start on my right ovary. There was a mass removed, but they couldn't do the full hysterectomy because I started hemorrhaging, and they had to stop early. 

    I agree, it's not like I really know enough to second guess the professionals either, I think my problem yesterday is that the doctor that was sent to discuss this all with me did not really make me feel like she really knew what she was talking about.  

    So far in my journey,  I do feel like I've gotten the care I need, and all the answers and help I need, so I guess I will continue to do as they say, and trust they have my best interests in mind. The radiation oncologist did say that the carboplatin will make the radiation work better, so there is that. And, I'm sure that once all of that is completed, perhaps they will revisit the second chemo alternative. Time will tell. 🙂
  • nadiaC
    hi @jrh78. I was highly allergic to paclitaxel so I was given docetaxel along with carboplatin. I also had to take steroids the night before my treatments and blextin the morning of and for a few days after. I want you to have this information should you choose to review it with your doctor. 
  • @nadiaC.. thank you!
  • I had two serious allergic reactions to taxol, I was able to carry on with it though by reducing the titrations rate to 20 along with allergy medications both IV and oral before each infusion. This did make my infusion day very long, sometimes as long as 8 hours but it was worth it, the taxol was very effective.