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Thread: Chemo after the Whipple Procedure

  1. #1

    Chemo after the Whipple Procedure

    Can anyone tell me if they have had experience with Chemotherapy after having the Whipple Procedure. I'm looking for both positive and negative feedback in order to decide if I should proceed with the Chemo using GEMZAR. I had the Whipple Procedure a couple of months ago and there are no signs of further cancer in my body. However, an Oncologist is recommending the Chemo as a preventive messure.

    Thank you............Norma

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Blog Entries
    Hi Norma, although I have no first hand experience with Pancreatic Cancer, it is such a terrible cancer that I would take the Chemotherapy suggested by your oncologist. Have the staged it for you? What grade and stage does your medical team say it is?

    Here are links to the topics of one of our long-term survivors of PC stage IV who recently died. You will find that "freeio" was a amazing man and knew a lot about Pancreatic Cancer.


    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  3. #3

    Chemo after the Whipple Procedure

    My Doctor did not mention a stage or grade. They believe they were able to remove all the cancer during the Whipple procedure and the Chemo will be just a sageguard in case any is remaining.

  4. #4
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Hi Norma,

    I went to two Oncologist and in my case and type of PC both stated that no benefit would be gained with Chemo so I did not take it after my Whipple. I am 23 months post Whipple. As each case is different and based on the fact that one recommended Chemo would make me want to take the Chemo. If you don't feel good about it get another opinion. Keep in mind that what happen in my case does not make it correct for your situation.

    You have the right to receive a copy of the Pathology report that give the Stage of your Cancer and other facts concerning it. I also got a copy of the surgery report. You also need to know what type Cancer you had. I also feel that while not trying to play Doctor you need to research and learn as much about your situation to be aware enough to ask questions. It is your life and you need to be knowledgeable.

    We will be praying for you.

    Ampulla of Vater Carcinoma
    Whipple Procedure 12-16-2005
    Tumor Staging: pT2 pNO pMX
    Moderately differentiated invasive Adenocarcinoma of Ampulla of Vater, 3.0 CM Tumor Invading but not through Muscularis Propria
    Two Oncologist stated no benefit would be gained with Chemo or Radiation so none was performed

  5. #5
    The CONKO-001 and the ESPAC-01 trials showed survival benefits from adjuvant chemotherapy.

    If you are over the operation and still in decent shape I would advice you to ask for adjuvant treatment.

    The oncologists migth advice against adjuvant treatment based on your personal medical history.

  6. #6
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hi Norma,

    My dad had the Whipple back in the summer and did undergo Chemo but, opted out of radiation. The chemo seems to be working well for him. He also has limited side effects. He does ensure however, before every treatment he takes compozine (not sure of the spelling) for neausea. He also opted not to have a port installed for fear of infection but rather via his veins. He describes the sensation as a mild cold burn he feels but can tolerate it. Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Adjuvant chemo is by no means considered standard of care, but there is data suggesting benefit, as mentioned above. This is an individualized decision that can be made with your physician.

    Leonardo F - Webmaster Cancer Forums
    Disclaimer: this information is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice.

  8. #8
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Taking the Recommendation

    SK: My Mom received a Chemo + Radiation recommendation after resection from her surgeon & oncologist. She agreed & has begun. So far so good about 1/3 of the way thru. Fingers Crossed.

  9. #9


    Dear Norma, I sent you a private email but I've just found out where to reply on this thread so may as well tell everyone. Had whipples in June 2003 followed by five months of Gemzar. Supposed to get it every week but some weeks my white cell blood count too low. Oncologist said minimal side effects (wouldn't I like to get that lying bastard in a dark alley). Couldn't eat bread, tomatoes or drink tea for twelve months & sick most days. On the plus side I'm now as fit as a mallee bull & look forward to every minute of every day.Kind regards, Rex (in Queensland, Australia)

  10. #10
    New User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Castro Valley California


    I had a whipple and the doctor told me that if it was his problem, he'd take the chemo and skip the radiation. Which is what I did. It made me fatigued, made me feel like I had the flu for a couple of days. I opted for no port and on several occasions felt a severe burning in the vein we were using.

    I was up and about the rest of the time. I was able to maintain my weight. I felt a little scatterbrained (still do).

    Gemzar has to be some of the easiest chemo to take - PC sucks so bad that maybe an easy chemo is karma!

    Best of luck with your decision and I'll keep you in my prayers.
    Pancreatic Cancer
    Post Whipple


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