How quickly can you detect the impact of Chemo treatment on tumours?


On Friday I’m having some important imaging work (xray) done at the hospital which will decide the next course of treatment. The imaging is to analyze the tumour development (mets) in my lungs and to assess if chemo treatment is making a positive difference. They had been growing very rapidly.

I’ve had 2 cycles of high dos Ifos, on date of imaging Friday I would have been out of hospital one week post cycle 2.

Does anyone know how quickly can you detect the impact of Chemo treatment on tumours?

I want the Doctors to have the right and timely information to make the correct decision.



X-Ray is not the best imaging tool for judging the effect of chemo. But they have to compare the image before and after so if they did an X-Ray before chemo instead of a CT scan, they do have to use the same imaging tool now. If you started chemo shortly after your lungs were X-Rayed, the effect of chemo should already be visible. If there was more than a week elapsed between the initial image and start of chemo, one should take into account that a week may have been enough for aggressive mets to grow significantly.


They actually have both baseline CT and X-ray images. I am just getting an X-ray tomorrow and if comes back to a not sure or need more information decision they we quickly get me in for a CT scan as well. I think the reluctance has been radiation to the high risk area not $ funding or budget related. I’ve been getting great and priority health care from skilled professionals.

The mets are quite big and had been growing very quickly so I guess the question for them isn’t that hard and they will have the base information, I.e. have the mets changed in last 2 months in which time we have run 2 chemo cycles? Is current treatment plan working? Do we need to changed tack. Although they now view this as palliative care they are working very hard to stop the negative thread.

My orginal concerned was they were doing the review too early. I felt chemo 2 had just finished and they needed to give it more time for the chemo drugs to do there worst to the tumours.

Elodie, I think you are right if you look at it the other way, an aggresive tumour can do a lot of damage in a couple of weeks, so important they shorter review cycle to see if they are making a difference and what’s going on.

Wish me luck?


Hey I'm in the exact same boat! I just had 2 slightly higher doses of ifos b/c my tumor had started growing again and got out of the hospital friday for that. I'm having a CT scan Monday at the Dana-Farber Institute to get an update so I guess the doctors expect the affects of the chemo to work fairly quickly if they're comfortable scheduling scans so quickly. In the past we've waiting a little longer between scans but since the last one was bad news, we decided to move this one up a little bit.

Wishing you the best of luck!


Wishing you both good luck!


Thanks Julie and Elodie,

Back from oncologists meeting and the large and problematic secondary tumour has responded to chemo and has reduced in size by 40%, some of the smaller tumours have disappeared. One stubborn marble sized has stayed about the same sized (on the flip: its not grown).

Due to the positive response we’re been approved for 4 more cycles of chemo. :slight_smile: we’re very happy with that result and next steps.

Julie, good luck for your meeting Monday.


May be the stubborn one did not respond because it's not active?