Something I have wondered for several months now. After three rounds of ifosfamide/messna and doxorubicin no size reduction was noted in the tumor, which led to my surgery. My question is why no radiation option???

I know it's after the fact but I see more treatments on the horizon. How effective is radiation on chemo-resistant tumors?


My understanding is that radiation and chemotherapy are not curative and only surgery can be. Usually radiation is done prior or after surgery to facilitate surgery, improve margins or get rid of potential residual disease if surgery margins were not good enough. For example, I did not have radiation for my leg since anyway, the best option for me was amputation, radiation was not needed as it is easy to get clear margin with an amputation. But I did have radiation to my lungs because one nodule was too close to the vena cava and phrenic nerve and it helped make surgery possible…


"Amputation" the "A" word... I can remember as if it were yesterday. After seeing a current MRI of my foot Dr Mulhaltra from Florida Cancer institue refered me to Moffitt, saying this was beyond their scope of abilities. His last words to me were; "They may have to "A" a few toes" What??? they're not cutting off anything!!

Well after more scans and 3 rounds of chemo failed to yield improvement, (roughly 65 days from the initial use of the "A" word) I was able to accept that the "A" was my only option.

Thank you for the explanation on radiation and chemotherapy, it does make good sense.


I also had to amputate after doing 4 rounds of chemo and 22 days of radiation. We were unable to note any size reduction from the treatments, which had my doctors worried, but my pathology report showed the tumor was over 80% necrotic. Sometimes (as was my case) it just fills with fluids as the active tumor cells are destroyed, which gives the appearance that it is either not responding or is still growing even though it is responding very well.

And Elodie is right. Current knowledge says that the coup de grace on this type of cancer is surgery. Chemo and radiation can help slow it down and possibly kill some potential rogue Mets cells before they set up shop, but it is not the ultimate answer. Usually it just helps you to decide between limb salvage and amputation.