View Single Post
Old 04-06-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 3
Re: Administration Every 3 Weeks Instead of Weekly for First 18 Weeks

Thank you Lucy and Becky, I will raise this concern with my doctor. Just to give some background information, I am receiving treatment from a public hospital which has a critical shortage of doctors (i.e. at any point in time, this public hospital system that provide free medical care for the entire city is short by 300 doctors) which is public knowledge and is in headline news.

After my first cycle of chemotherapy, consisting of IV administration of 3 drugs (Herceptin, Corboplatin, Docetaxel) every 3 weeks for 6 cycles with Herceptin continuing for one year after, I was scheduled for the second cycle injection in 4 weeks instead of 3. When I asked the doctor why there was a 1 week delay, their response was it's because they are short of doctors. I fought with the nurses to schedule me in earlier and luckily they conceded but told me it's a one-time exception. I had to fight again for the timing of my 3rd cycle to be on the 3 week schedule, and luckily they conceded.

I thought all was well until I read the administration guidelines on the Herceptin site:
The instructions specify that for the TCH adjuvent treatment, the drugs Corboplatin and Docetaxel are to be given every 3 weeks for 6 cycles starting week 1, however, Herceptin is to be given weekly for the first 18 weeks.

This worried me and I wonder if the public hospital doctor bypassed the weekly instructions because of their staff shortage (i.e. it's more labour intensive to give me Herceptin weekly). I did notice that my dosage for the Herceptin was higher than the weekly dosage, the dosage was in accordance with the 3 week regimen.

Given that HER2 is an aggressive form of cancer, I am worried that derailing from the regime will affect Herceptin's efficacy and increase the chance of recurrence. I don't really have any clout with the public hospital doctors and wonder if I can get help somewhere else, perhaps from pharmaceutical companies, holding doctors responsible for the risks associated with derailing from clinically proven regimens.
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote