Kidney Cancer: An expensive and dangerous drug that does not cure

KC (E87) is a 50-year-old male. In late January 2013, he had breathing difficulties and had to be hospitalized.  There was fluid in his lung. Pleural tapping was done. KC’s health was restored after 10 days in the hospital where 4 litres of pleural fluid was tapped out.

A CT scan done on 21 February 2013 indicated the following:

  1. Multiple pulmonary nodules in both lower lobes. Right pleural effusion and enhancing right pleural nodules.
  2. Bilaateral heterogeneously enhancing renal masses in upper pole measuring 7.3 x 6.6 cm (right) and 7.0 x 8.1 cm (left).
  3. Right lobe liver with ill defined lesion in segment IV of liver suggestive of local infiltration.
  4. Multiple enhancing peritoneal nodules in right subhepatic space.
  5. Enlarge retrocrural lymphadenopathy and multiple subcentimeter paraaortic and aortocaval nodes. Mild to moderate ascites.

Impression:  Bilateral renal masses likely renal cell carcinoma with local infiltration and lung pleural and peritoneal metastases.

After the CT scan KC was asked to go home and nothing was done. There was no medication either. No satisfied, KC went to consult an oncologist at a private hospital. Another CT scan was done on 26 March 2013. The results indicated:

  1. Multiple mildly enlarged mediastinal nodes.
  2. There is a small-to-moderate right pneumothorax (a collapsed lung – a collection of air in the space around the lungs. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand as much as it normally does when taking a breath).
  3. Pleural mass at the right anterior costophenic sulcus measuring 8 x 5.6 x 3.8 cm.
  4. Another large right pleural based mass noted anteriorly underlying the right third rib and it measures 6 x 2.7 x 2 cm.
  5. There is also a fairly large pleural based mass medially abutting the left atrium. It measures 5 x 4 x 3 cm.
  6. Bilateral multiple slightly lobulated pulmonary nodules with two nodules at the left lung apex demonstrating cavitation.
  7. There are bilateral large heterogenous masses occupying the upper half of both kidneys. The right renal mass measures 9 x7.4 x 6.7 cm. The left renal mass measures 8.7 x 8 x 6.6 cm.
  8. There is a peritoneal heterogenous lesion invading segment 6 of the liver, measuring 5.6 x 5 x 5 cm.
  9. There are multiple mildly enlarged retroperitoneal nodes measuring up to 17 mm.
  10. There is biconcave appearance of T3 vertebral body due to compression fracture.
  11. There is deformity at the left iliac crest, due to previous bone grafting.

KC was told by the oncologist that since both his kidneys are infected with cancer, surgery is not indicated. The cancer has also spread to his lungs and liver. The oncologist prescribed Sutent. The total cost of his first visit to the oncologist was RM 7,000. Sutent itself cost RM 5,000 for 9 days consumption. The remaining RM 2,000 was for the CT and RM 300 for consulting the oncologist.

KC came to seek our help on 5 April 2013. The following are excerpts of our conversation.

Chris: Did they remove your kidneys?

KC: No, both my kidneys were infected. They could not remove them.

C: Then you saw the oncologist, what did he do?

KC: He prescribed me this drug (showing Sutent box).

C: How much did this cost you?

KC: RM 5,000 for 9 days of consumption.

C: Did you ask if the drug is going to cure you?

KC: Only to control the spread of the cancer.

C: How long do you need to take this drug?

KC: He cannot tell me. I told the doctor. This drug is expensive, I cannot afford it. He said: How much is your life worth? And when I talked too much he got angry at me. I told him I cannot afford to take this medication. I only earn RM 1,000 plus per month – how to afford it.

C: Did he tell you the adverse side effects of his drug?

KC: ?? No, I told him I cannot afford to take the medication. He asked me: How much is your life worth? And why do you come and see me then?

Comments:  This is indeed a sad and tragic story.  Just reflect on this: How long do you expect a patient who earns RM 1,000 plus per month afford to take drug that cost him RM 15,000 per month?  What is the rationale of asking this patient to take the drug? To cure him or is this for any other purpose?  Patient was to take Sutent so as to stop the cancer from spreading. This unfortunately is the line very often sold to patients to make things attractive. But is that an honest answer based on scientific fact? Read below and you will be shocked!

This is something you need to know that oncologists or those with vested interests, will not tell you!

Sutent-spread-cancer 2

Sutent box

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2088032/Cancer-drugs-aim-shrink-tumours-cutting-blood-supply-actually-help-SPREAD.html#ixzz2PwQx0Tun

  • Cancer drugs that shrink tumours by cutting off their blood supply may end up helping them to spread, a study suggests.
  • Tests on mice showed that both Glivec and Sutent depleted pericytes by 70 per cent while metastasis rates tripled.
  • Glivec, the brand name of the drug imatinib, and Sutent (sunitinib) have both been shown in trials to increase patient survival by a significant degree.
  • Drugs such as Glivec and Sutent reduce the size of tumours but could also make them more aggressive and mobile.
  • As a result tumours find it easier to ‘metastasise’, or spread around the body.

If you just looked at tumour growth, the results were good,‘said lead researcher Professor Raghu Kalluri, from Harvard Medical School in Boston. But when you looked at the whole picture, inhibiting tumour vessels was not controlling cancer progression. The cancer was, in fact, spreading. 

Seventy to 80 percent of cells in breast tumour are non-cancer cells. Are they all bad? Some of them are there to protect us and they’re not all bad.

Indeed  Sutent has been approved by the US FDA for treatment of advanced renal cancer, but the reality is it does not cure advanced or metastatic renal cancer or any cancer at all for that matter. Know that!

Below is the Information obtained from the drug company’s website:  http://www.sutent.com/rcc.aspx

The website said, Sutent has been proven effective in the treatment of advanced RCC (renal cell carcinoma).

A clinical study has proven that Sutent is more effective than interferon alfa (IFNα), another approved treatment option for advanced RCC.

SUTENT results:

  1. SUTENT More Than Doubled Median Progression-Free Survival (PFS) vs IFNα – 11 months vs 5 months with IFNα. 
  2. SUTENT Achieved More Than 2 Years’ Median Overall Survival (OS):  26.4 months vs 21.8 months with IFNα.
  3. FIVE TIMES more people saw their tumors shrink. 103 patients taking Sutent compared to 20 taking IFNα. 

Of course, when you read this information it is very impressive (but don’t fall into the trap of sweetened or massage research data!). Why do I say the message is a sweet camouflage?  Let’s look at the data critically.

  1. If you take Sutent, you have TWO TIMES longer progression-free survival.   Progression-free survival means the length of time from the start of treatment that patients remain alive and their disease does not worsen. The question you want to ask is:, what if you don’t take Sutent – can you also have progression free survival? Of course, but it is shorter a bit. According to the Drug Company, with Sutent the progress-free survival was 11 months compared to 5 months without Sutent. So Sutent gave an advantage of 6 months.Progression-free does not mean cure at all. It is just the disease does not worsen and you are still alive.
  2. Those who take Sutent remained alive. The median overall survival was 26.4 months and then they die. But what if you don’t take Sutent? Patients were still alive but died at 21.8 months. That means by taking Sutent you live longer by 4.6 months.

Take note:  you live longer by only 4.6 months. Is that what you want? Let us look at the economics. To live 4.6 months longer you need to take Sutent for at least 27 months, according to this study. This would cost you about RM 15,000 x 27 = RM 405,000. I am sorry, is my calculator playing tricks on me? Is that not a lot of money to you and me? And spending that kind of money to chase after 4.6 months of extended life? Let us hope that the extra 4.6 months of life is blissful, worth every minute of it. Or is it? There is no free lunch – you may have to suffer severe side effects as listed below.Nowhere in medical literature do I ever come across data showing that Sutent cures your cancer.

3. Five times as many people on Sutent saw their tumors shrink – is this a great achievement? Shrinkage of tumour has NO meaning. It is just a lure or camouflage! And what do you make out of the research led by Professor Raghu Kalluri of Harvard Medical School in Boston which said that Sutent may shrink the tumour but ultimately Sutent  may end up helping cancer spread more aggressively and widely.

The following are warnings given by the Drug Company.

SUTENT may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Serious liver problems, including death
  • Heart problems—include heart failure and heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathy) that can lead to death.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm changes— you feel dizzy, faint, or have abnormal heartbeats
  • High blood pressure.
  • Bleeding sometimes leading to death— these symptoms may include:
    • Painful, swollen stomach (abdomen)
    • Bloody urine
    • Vomiting blood
    • Headache or change in your mental status
    • Black, sticky stools
    • Jaw-bone problems (osteonecrosis)—severe jaw bone problems may happen.
    • Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)— caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells and may lead to death. TLS may cause nausea, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, clouding of urine and tiredness associated with abnormal laboratory test results (high potassium, uric acid and phosphorous levels and low calcium levels in the blood) that can lead to changes in kidney function and acute kidney failure.
    • Hormone problems, including thyroid and adrenal gland problems— as in the  following signs and symptoms:
      • Tiredness that worsens and does not go away
      • Heat intolerance
      • Loss of appetite
      • Feeling nervous or agitated, tremors
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Sweating
      • Diarrhea
      • Irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual periods
      • Fast heart rate
      • Headache
      • Weight gain or weight loss
      • Hair loss
      • Feeling depressed

Common side effects of SUTENT include:

  • It may make your skin look yellow. Your skin and hair may get lighter in color
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and constipation.
  • Rash or other skin changes, including drier, thicker, or cracking skin
  • Blisters or a rash on the palms of hands and soles of feet
  • Taste changes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or swelling in arms or legs
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bleeding from cuts

How much is your life worth?

Let me ask you to ponder what Rabbi Harold Kushner said:

11-Kushner-Moral-compass

Perhaps we all should read the article below presented by Drs Tito Fojo and Christine Grady. The first author is from the Medical Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA, while Dr. Grady is from the Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA.

Sutent-How-much-is-life-wor

Read more: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/101/15/1044.full.pdf+html

Read also https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/05/27/dissecting-chemotherapy-part-4-how-much-is-life-worth-erbitux-for-lung-cancer/

In their paper, Dr. Fojo & Grady wrote:

  • The all too common practice of administrating a new, marginally beneficial drug to a patient with advanced cancer should be strongly discouraged.
  • In cases where there are no further treatment options, emphasis should be first on quality of life and then cost.
  • For therapies with marginal benefits, toxic effects should receive greater scrutiny.
  • We must deal with escalating price of cancer therapy now.
  • The current condition cannot continue … the time to start is now.
  • As oncologists, we cannot go without answering these questions. The moral character of our specialty depends on the answers.

You may wish to read the following related stories:

  1. Kidney-Lung-Brain Cancer: Sutent = Heart Damage https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-lung-brain-cancer-sutent-heart-damage/
  2. Sutent for Advanced Kidney Cancer  https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/18/sutent-for-advanced-kidney-cancer/
  3.  Kidney Cancer Part 2: Two Oncologists Two Different Opinions – Is Sutent indicated in this case? https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-cancer-part-2-two-oncologists-two-different-opinions-%E2%80%93-is-sutent-indicated-in-this-case/
  4. Die of Cancer But Don’t Die A Bankrupt! https://cancercaremalaysia.com/category/kidney-cancer/

 More:

Perilous Approach: Avastin and Sutent Promote Growth of Breast Cancer Stem Cells

Avastin

(Note: Many patients in Malaysia have been treated with this very expensive drug)

http://badscienceblindtruth.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/perilous-approach-avastin-and-sutent-promote-growth-of-breast-cancer-stem-cells/

Die of Cancer But Don’t Die A Bankrupt!

It is bad enough to be diagnosed with a metastatic kidney cancer. The situation gets to be real grim when you are told that for this type of cancer there would be no cure. But how do you take it if on top if this you were told to take a drug that cost 100 million rupiah a month that would NOT cure you? And you were scolded for not wanting to take the medication! What can you do if you were just a 33-year-old man earning 1.5 million rupiah per month?  You have not accumulated enough savings to be able to transfer that life’s saving to the hospital’s account! Do people realize that with that amount of monthly income you still have to feed your wife and young children?  How could this world be so cruel? Perhaps the gods of the cancer world has gone crazy?

Let me share with you his tragic story.

Wanto (not real name) is a 33-year-old man from a town in Central Sumatera, Indonesia. He and his wife came to seek our help on 16 November 2012. Typical of a young man, Wanto was a smoker – burning away a packet of cigarette a day for the past 16 years. He was also a drinker. Two months ago, Wanto had backaches that lasted for about two weeks. Then he had   difficulty breathing. His chest was painful.

Wanto came to a private hospital in Penang. He had to travel for 9 hours by bus to get to Medan. After an overnight stay in Medan he flew to Penang. A chest X-ray and ultrasound of the abdomen were done on 29 September 2012. The results indicated:

  • Lobulated appearance of right hilum inferiorly suspicious of lung nodules.
  • A large solid heterogenous mass occupying the whole left renal bed measuring 142.1 x 11.6 x 121.6 mm.
  • Thrombosed left renal vein seen.

Blood test results were as below:

ESR

78    H

Platelet

499  H

Alanine transaminase

56    H

GGT

104  H

AST

117  H

Uric acid

518  H

Creatinine

98

Wanto was asked to undergo a biopsy. He declined. This procedure would cost about 8 million rupiah (RM 2,544.00). Then he was asked to take an oral drug, Sutent (sunitinib).  Wanto also declined. According to Wanto’s wife a month’s supply of Sutent would cost 100 million rupiah (that is RM 31,807.00) per month.  In addition, Wanto’s wife read about the various side effects of the drug.

Wanto then consulted an herbalist and took his herbs. This cost about 10 million rupiah (RM 3,180.00) per month. Wanto was told to abstain from taking broccoli, cabbage, beans, toxic fish, meat, etc.  (Note:  This is partly opposite of what we tell patients at CA Care). Wanto was told by the herbalist that the herbs can cure his cancer.

Initially he felt better after taking the herbs but after one and a half months he did NOT feel the herbs were helping him anymore.

Wanto came back to Penang again on 14 November 2012. He went to the same private hospital that he went earlier. This time a CT scan was done.

Composite-1-Kidney

Composite-2-Lung-Met

The results of the CT scan showed extensive well circumscribed nodules in almost all broncho-pulmonary segments of both lungs. The nodules measured approximately 4 to 25 mm in diameter each. Enlarged lymph nodes noted in both right and left perihilar regions and azygo-oesophageal recess. The nodules measured approximately 15 to 25 mm in diameter each.

About two weeks later, 1 October 2012, another CT scan was done. The results showed multiple well defined nodules of different sizes in both lungs and aortopulmonary region. Large mass lesion seen in the left lung with paraaortic lymphadenopathy. Conclusion: Carcinoma left kidney with paraaortic lymphadenopathy, lung metastasis.

Wanto and his wife came to seek our help on 16 November 2012. The following are excerpts of our conversation on that day.

Chris:  Was the doctor angry when you told him that you were taking herbs?

Wife: Yes, he was angry and asked me why I did not follow his advice.

C: But what did he want you to do?

W: He insisted that I take sunitinib (Sutent).

C: What was his reaction when you said you did not want to take sunitinib?

W: He said: “You must take the medication. Otherwise you have zero chance. The cancer will spread all over the body.”

C: Did you tell him that sunitinib cost so much money?

W: Yes I told him that. But he said even though it is expensive I must still buy it!

C: Oh, where are you going to get the money from? Rob a bank? You did not buy the medication but went to an herbalist instead. You told the doctor about this. Then you went back to the doctor again for more scan after a month or so.

W: Yes. The doctor was angry. He said: “You see the scan, there is no improvement.”

C: But was your husband getting worse?

W: According to him (husband), NO.

C: According to your husband, he was better after taking the herbs?

Wife: Yes (while the patient nodded in agreement).

C: What else do you want?

CT scan: Once is enough!

C: What is important for you to know is that there is no need to do CT scan all the time or too often. Once is enough. If the patient feels he is good means he is doing good. What else do you want? I am here trying to teach you commonsense. Go and do CT scan every month (every visit to the hospital) is not good for you!  Do it once is enough!

Take care of your diet

C: The herbalist told you not to take broccoli, cabbage beans, certain fish and meat. Did he tell you not to take sugar?

W: No, can take sugar. He (husband) drinks Milo everyday!

C: Oh no. Here we teach you differently. You need to avoid sugar, oil, table salt, dairy products and meat. Avoid taking anything that walks. That is the way we do here.

Expensive Drug That Does Not Cure

C: You saw the doctor twice – first in October and a month later you went back to him again. You did the scan and the doctor asked you to take sunitinib. Okay, did he tell you that after taking that expensive drug, it is going to cure you?

W: The doctor said sunitinib cannot cure his (husband) cancer.

C: Cannot cure? Then why did he want you to take the medication then?

W: Just to prolong his life. By taking the drug, he can live for another two years.

C: Prolong life by two years – that was what the doctor said?

W: Yes.

C: Okay, extending life for two years but the medication is going to cost you 100 million rupiah per month. If you live for two years, that is going to cost a lot of money. But that drug cannot cure?

W:  Yes, cannot cure. There is no guarantee.

C: In addition to this, there are a lot of side effects. How would you know that after taking the drug for a few months, he may even die?

W: Yes, exactly.

C: So, what is the meaning of all these? You need to understand that correctly. Even you take the drug it is not going to cure you. You have been clearly told about this. Everyone who comes to see me also wants to find a cure – wanting me to cure him/her. But in a serious condition like this there is nothing anybody can do – especially in your case, where the cancer has already spread extensively to the lungs.  I have read many medical books and I have not come across anything that says metastatic kidney cancer can be cured. To ask you to take medication – that is fine. After all somebody wants to sell his medicine and make some profit out of it. But the point is, there is NO cure. And in addition   you have to contend with all the severe side effects.  Then you have to find 100 million rupiah a month. Where are   you going to find that kind of money? In Indonesia, how much does an ordinary person with an ordinary job gets paid?

W: A worker earns about 1.5 million rupiah a month.

C: Oh, only 1.5 million? So you need to have a lot of people earning for him, to make 100 million rupiah.

W: Ya.

C: The solution provided for you is really NOT a solution at all. If you have to spend 100 million for a month and then it cures you,  that is fine.

W: Ya, if it is only for a month that is okay.

C: But that is not so!

Under Pressure and Facing Reality

W: You know doc. After the CT scan the doctor wanted to do a biopsy. My husband refused. But the doctor insisted on   doing the biopsy. It was going to cost 8 million rupiahs.  Actually I wanted to do the biopsy and even take the medication – sunitinib, but my husband just refused to do the biopsy. I was the foolish one.  In fact, before going home, I planned to buy the medication. But he (husband) refused.

C: Your husband refused the medication?  Let me tell you this truthfully. At this point, you need to face reality.

W: I was under pressure. The doctor said the longer we wait the more the cancer is going to spread and spread and spread. He said: Your husband will not have any more hope.

C: But if he takes the medication, would there be any hope?

W: The doctor said with the medication the cancer will keep quiet.

C: Keep quiet for how long? How many months or years? But the doctor said your husband will eventually die anyway.

W: Yes.

C: You take sunitinib and it cost you 100 million per month and the doctor said you can live for two years. If you go back and go to the bank and ask for a loan – can you  ever repay that loan? Can pay back the bank?

W: That’s true.

C: I know. It does not make sense – meaningless – having to pay so much for a drug that does not cure. What is the purpose? On top of that you suffer the side effects. Do you understand this? So yesterday you said you wanted to buy the drug – what was your expectation? You were expecting a cure?

W: Laughed!

C: And the doctor had already told you that there would be no cure. I want you to understand this first before we go further.

Misled & Misinformed – Herbs Can Cure Cancer!

C: Then you went to see an herbalist and you paid for his herbs – 10 million rupiah per month. At least that was cheaper! What did the herbalist tell you? Did he say his herbs were going to cure your husband?

W: Nodding.

C: Can cure? Are you sure that he said can cure? What does it mean by can cure? Do you understand him correctly? Some people say – take herbs today, tomorrow you feel well and he is cured. But the day after tomorrow the patient is dead. That is still cure! You need to understand what cure means. Do you really hear him correctly when he said he can  cure your husband?

W: Yes.

C: You have seen your medical doctor and he told you your husband cannot be cured. Now this herbalist said your husband’s cancer can be cured. Whom do you believe now?

W: I don’t believe the herbalist. That is why I come to see you doc.!

C: You need to think properly. Don’t be stupid. The herbalist said he can cure, the doctor said no cure. Ask – who is telling the truth? Do you want to know the real answer? I want to say this as frankly, honestly and directly to you – there is no medicine in this world that can cure cancer – even more so for the kind of cancer your husband has. Don’t be shocked – but you have already been told by the doctor anyway. In my experience helping cancer patients for the past 16 years, and I have read most of the books on cancer that are found in this world, I must say I have not found any medication that can totally cure cancer. So if you come to me and ask for herbs that can cure your cancer then I must say to you: NO, I don’t have any. So don’t have the wrong expectation when you come here.  You have gone to see this herbalist and you have taken his herbs for about one and half months and he promised you a cure. Why don’t you go and see him again and take more of his herbs? He promised you a cure, but when you come to see me I say I cannot cure you!

There Is No Cure For Cancer

C: To all those who come and see me, I cannot promise you a cure. I tell them this: After you take the herbs, you need to take care of your diet and if you feel better – can sleep, can eat, can more around – don’t ask for more! This is because I don’t   know of anybody in this world who can cure your cancer. But if you want to live longer without much suffering or problem, you need to change your lifestyle, your attitude and your diet. All these must change! By doing these, I hope you can live a bit longer without much suffering.  If we can achieve that, I have done my job. Don’t ask for more.

12 Wellbeing

C: Who ask you to come here?

W: I have been wanting to come and see you for a long time already but I did not know where to find you. Now, this uncle brought me here.

Comments

Wanto’s wife was told that sunitinib would cost 100 million rupiah per month or about RM 30,000. That is extremely expensive. I think she has been misquoted. The first time I knew about sunitinib some years ago, the cost was only about RM 20,000. I believe it is cheaper now? Nevertheless, by any standard it is still expensive to the ordinary Indonesians who earn about 1.5 million rupiah (RM 450) per month. They still need to burst their bank account to pay for such medication!

Let me be quick to say – this is not about money alone. Ask this question, What can I get in return? Cure? Not at all. Prolong life – probably, but for a few months. The doctor quoted the good side – two years of life prolongation which may be rare.  The norm is just a few months. Is it worth it? To the wealthy, every minute of life is worth all the gold he has but to the poor it may mean accumulating debt for the next few generations to pay!

Let’s face it. Even the Americans and English living in advanced countries of the world find the cost of this drug mind boggling –  the drug is too expensive and it does not cure the disease. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6087834/Sutent-for-kidney-cancer-approved-on-NHS-but-other-drugs-turned-down.html )

At http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aER.9zj2HmSk   there is this headline: Miracle Cancer Drug Extends Life With $48,720 Cost 

You may wish to read my earlier article: Dissecting Chemotherapy Part 4: How Much Is Life Worth? Erbitux for Lung Cancer. Let me once again quote what Drs. Tito Fojo and Christine Grady in the USA said:

  • The all too common practice of administrating a new, marginally beneficial drug to a patient with advanced cancer should be strongly discouraged.
  • In cases where there are no further treatment options, emphasis should be first on quality of life and then cost.
  • For therapies with marginal benefits, toxic effects should receive greater scrutiny.
  • We must deal with escalating price of cancer therapy now.
  • The current condition cannot continue … the time to start is now.

In addition, prolonging life comes with another price – severe side effects. The following list of side effects are obtained from the drug company’s own website: http://www.sutent.com/rcc.aspx

Common side effects of SUTENT include:  Skin and hair may get lighter in color, Tiredness, Weakness, Fever, Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and constipation;  Rash or other skin changes, including drier, thicker, or cracking skin; Blisters or a rash on the palms of hands and soles of  feet;  Taste changes;  Loss of appetite; Pain or swelling in your arms or legs; Cough; Shortness of breath and Bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bleeding from cuts.

SUTENT may cause serious side effects, including:

  1. Serious liver problems, including death.
  2. Heart problems—heart failure and heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathy) that can lead to death.
  3. Abnormal heart rhythm changes— dizzy, faint, or abnormal heartbeats.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Bleeding sometimes leading to death – Painful, swollen stomach (abdomen), Bloody urine, Vomiting blood.
  6. Headache or change in mental status.
  7. Black, sticky stools.
  8. Jaw-bone problems (osteonecrosis)—Severe jaw bone problems may happen.
  9. Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)—TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells and may lead to death
  10. Hormone problems, including thyroid and adrenal gland problems.
  11. Tiredness that worsens and does not go away.
  12. Heat intolerance.
  13. Loss of appetite.
  14. Feeling nervous or agitated, tremors.
  15. Nausea or vomiting.
  16. Sweating.
  17. Diarrhea.
  18. Fast heart rate.
  19. Headache.
  20. Weight gain or weight loss.
  21. Hair loss.
  22. Feeling depressed.

 Patient’s Experiences

To know more about the effects of Sutent on patients who take them, go to the links below:

1. Kidney-Lung-Brain Cancer: Sutent = Heart Damage

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-lung-brain-cancer-sutent-heart-damage/

2.Kidney Cancer Part 2: Two Oncologists Two Different Opinions – Is Sutent indicated in this case?

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-cancer-part-2-two-oncologists-two-different-opinions-%E2%80%93-is-sutent-indicated-in-this-case/

3.      Sutent for Advanced Kidney Cancer

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/18/sutent-for-advanced-kidney-cancer/

Role of CA Care

In 1995, I prayed in my heart: O God, with the knowledge You bestowed upon me, show me Lord, Your way! Sometime later CA Care was founded. We adopted St. Francis Assisi’s prayer as our guiding principle:

23-Prayer-of-CA-Care

When I was confronted with this case, I could not help but remember our reason-to-be. Wanto and his wife came to us in desperate need of help. We at CA Care should do our best to help the best way we know how. So, help us Lord.

My first task was to tell Wanto and his wife the truth but without depriving them of hope. I asked them to face reality – no use burying their heads under the sand. Medically there is no cure for his cancer. Therefore for someone to tell him that herbs can cure his cancer is indeed tragic. It sounds like the herbalist is after his money rather than his cancer. On the other hand to offer a solution whereby the drug cost so much money but does nothing much to cure is useless.  It is bad enough to get cancer but it would be even worse to make a person bankrupt while he is still alive – perhaps leave a pile of debt that may require even his grandchildren to repay. What good is that?

While at CA Care we clearly tell patients our herbs cannot cure their cancer, but we also tell them they need not have to give up. We don’t want to raise unrealistic false hope but we also don’t want to extinguish hope. At CA Care we have numerous cases of terminal cancer – the doctors say: You only have 2 or 3 months to live. With our therapy, many of these patients go on to live for years, not months! We are optimistic about this because we have seen many successes.

It really sadden me to see that in the face of inability-to-do-anything-meaningful patients are pressured into  following medical  advice even if it does not sound  reasonable. Indeed Mrs. Wanto felt the pressure and wanted to do what she was asked to do. Amazingly, Wanto being the patient himself kept a cool head!

3 Dont-accept-everything-you-

4-b-Whitaker-Doctor-Biased-

The Virtue of Doing Nothing

It is human nature that once told that we got cancer we go into a frenzy – madly rushing here and there believing that we must get things done quickly. There is no need to behave like that. I always tell patients: Don’t panic. There is no need to rush. You did not get cancer yesterday. The cancer has been in you for years already – only that you don’t know that it is there. So take it easy and calm down.  At CA Care we ask you to relax and reflect to understand what has gone wrong. Then we sit down with you to plot your cancer journey using as much common sense as possible.

Many of you may not like to learn this. For certain cases and under certain situations perhaps doing nothing is more logical and humane. Read this interesting story: The Island Where People Forget to Diehttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Stamatis Moraitis, a 60-plus-year-old man living in the US was diagnosed with lung cancer. Nine doctors confirmed the diagnosis. He was given 9 months to live. This was in 1976. Moraitis declined to seek the aggressive cancer treatment. He and his wife decided to return to Ikaria – his native Greek island to live out the rest of his life. He figured a funeral in the United States would cost thousands, a traditional Ikarian one only $200, leaving more of his retirement savings for his wife, Elpiniki.   Moraitis said: I might as well die happy. With good, clean fresh air, simple but healthy diet, gardening, good company and care-free life Moraitis got well. About 25 years later Moraitis returned to the US hoping to see his  doctors again and to see if the doctors could explain it to me what had actually happened. Moraitis said:  My doctors were all dead.

This is indeed an inspiring story that we can learn from.

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My Last Word

I am glad that I have set up CA Care! Doing nothing is not about you not doing anything to help yourself. When you come to CA Care we teach you to live a “happy life” to take care of yourself – to take care of your diet, change your life style and mental attitude, take herbs and seek blessing from Above. All these, could probably make your remaining time on earth more meaningful. And you can also be sure you would not end up being a bankrupt when you go home!

Kidney-Lung-Brain Cancer: Sutent = Heart Damage

MF (H614) is a 49-year old male.  He and his family came to seek our help on 27 May 2011. Watch this video and listen to his story.

 

 

Gist of our conversation.

  • MF was diagnosed with kidney cancer in June 2004. As a result his left kidney was removed. This operation cost him RM 8,000. After the operation MF was told that everything would be alright since the cancer had been removed. He was told not to worry and could go back to his normal life again. After all, the cancer has been cured.
  • It was not to be.  Three years later, June 2007, the cancer had spread to his lungs. MF received 10 times of radiation treatments. Then he was told that there was no further treatment.
  • MF turned to herbs. He received fresh herbs from a farm in Johor. He took the herbs for almost one a half years. According to MF, his lung cancer did not improve, but he did not get worse either.
  • But a CT scan done on 1 April 2009 showed the mass had increased in size from 5 x 5 x 7cm to 4 x 11.5 x 6 cm. The lymph node increased (?) from 2.5 x 4.5 x 6 cm to 3 x 3 x 4 cm. Impression: Features are suggestive of progressive enlargement of the right hilaar mass with lymph nod metastasis. Suspicious right main pulmonary artery thrombosis.
  • MF turned to medical treatment again. In May 2009, he was accepted into a Patent Assistance Program on Sutent offered by a local university hospital. For the first three months on Sutent, MF had to pay a total cost of RM 51,000 for the drug. After that, Sutent was supplied free of charge.
  • A CT scan on 4 September 2009, i.e.,  after about four months on Sutent – showed the right lower lobe is much smaller now …  measures approximately 5 x 4.4 cm.  Impression: Left renal cell carcinoma with lung metastases post nephrectomy and chemotherapy showing good response to chemotherapy as evidenced by significant reduction in size of the lung metastases.
  • MF was on Sutent from May 2009 until March 2011. He took 4 pills a day for 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks of rest. Then the cycle was repeated. He suffered numerous side effects after taking Sutent. Among them are:
  1. swollen and bleeding gum
  2. fingers of skin became thin and peeled off
  3. legs with blisters with fluid. It was painful when he stepped on the floor.
  4. rashes on the body
  5. breathing was slow
  6. coughs with blood clot
  7. skin became yellow like jaundice
  8. his black hairs and eye brow turned white
  9. urine with bubbles
  10. the worse side effect was heart failure – currently on heart medications.

He wrote, “This problem (heart failure) was detected in February 2011. And the doctor advised me to stop Sutent indefinitely. Now, I am looking for an alternative treatment. Hopefully you can help me.”

Update

 

3 June 2011

Dear Dr. Chris,

My father, from Malacca who visited you last Friday (27 May 2011) at Penang was admitted to Melaka General Hospital today. He doesn’t have energy to walk, lost the power to speak and see everything in blur ways. May I know what causes all these? My mother gave him the herbal tea to drink as you told. And he lost his appetite. Thus when the doctor checked his sensitivity, his left side of body is less sensitive than his right side of body. Are these the symptoms of having mild stroke? Hope you can reply me as soon as possible. Thank you.

Reply: I cannot tell you exactly what happen — because I am not there to know what actually was going on … even more so when after all the drugs that he was taking …. he is the one who took Sutent and got the heart attack right?

7 June

Dear Dr.Chris,

My father’s cancer cells from the kidney which spread to the lungs a few years ago, now has spread to his brain. I found this from the doctor after doing the CT scan yesterday. The doctor says that there are many white spots on his brain and he has a high level of calcium. Doctor says that maybe it has spread to the bone too, but unfortunately, they don’t have the machine for the bone scan in Melaka General Hospital. And, my father keeps on complaining about his headache. What should my mother and I do right now?

Reply: I think I have already told you this … from the Kidney it goes to the lungs and from the lungs it goes to the brain. That is the way it goes and Suntent makes things worse. I am in the US now and shall only come home in July. I really don’t know what else to say.

Lessons we can learn from this case

1. Surgery does not cure any cancer. It is a big mistake to think that after a surgery, the cancer is gone. It is most unfortunate that patients are not forewarned of this possibility of recurrence.  Even if you are told that the cancer has all been taken out, please take this with a pinch of salt! The cancer can come back again. And if you are told to go home and eat anything you like, remember that may not be a good advice at all as in this case. Read another story, Kidney Cancer Part 1: Get it removed! …….

2. MF was on herbs for more than a year. He was not getting worse. He said he was not getting better either. For sure, he did not suffer during those months while on herbs. Also he did not have to spend RM 51,000 on the herbs. MF turned to Sutent and he took the drug for over a year. He had to endure all the side effects. Sutent consumption had to be stopped after his heart was damaged. Which is more beneficial – the so called unproven herbs or the so called scientifically proven Sutent? In addition to those side effects, he had to fork out RM 51,000 –  worth it?

3.  After about four months on Sutent, the CT scan showed the lung mass became smaller. The CT scan report reads, “good response to chemotherapy as evidenced by significant reduction in size of the lung metastases”. Unfortunately, reduction in tumour size (although accepted by the US-FDA and medical community as an indicator of effectiveness) is meaningless. After a prolonged consumption of Sutent, in February 2011, MF suffered a heart failure and the doctor advised MF to stop taking Sutent indefinitely. So ended this sad story about Sutent.

4.  Before taking any chemo drugs – this is our advice to all patients. Ask some basic questions first  — such as, Can the drug cure your cancer? What are the side effects of the drugs?  Check with the internet to verify the information provided to you by the doctors.  Be reminded by what Professor Jane Plant said (in Prostate Cancer, page 231), “Much of the advice given to us, even from some government sources, cannot be regarded as reliable, because of the overwhelming influence of vested-interest groups. We must, therefore, rely very much on ourselves and our own efforts to safeguarding our health.”

Below are information obtained from the official website of the Sutent company http://www.sutent.com/

The possible side effects of Sutent are

  1. SUTENT can cause serious liver problems, including death.
  2. SUTENT may cause heart problems, including: heart failure, heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathy) and abnormal heart rhythm changes.
  3. SUTENT may cause high blood pressure
  4. SUTENT may cause bleeding sometimes leading to death. Serious bleeding problem such as painful swollen stomach (abdomen), vomiting blood, black sticky stools and bloody urine
  5. SUTENT may cause hormone problems, including thyroid and adrenal gland problem.
  6. Tiredness that worsens and does not go away
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Heat intolerance
  9. Feeling nervous or agitated, tremors
  10. Sweating
  11. Nausea or vomiting
  12. Diarrhea
  13. Fast heart rate
  14. Weight gain or weight loss
  15. Feeling depressed
  16. Irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual periods
  17. Headache or change in your mental status.
  18. Hair loss
  19. The medicine in SUTENT is yellow, and it may make your skin look yellow. Your skin and hair may get lighter in color
  20. Weakness
  21. Fever
  22. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and constipation.
  23. Rash or other skin changes, including drier, thicker, or cracking skin
  24. Blisters or a rash on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
  25. Taste changes
  26. Pain or swelling in your arms or legs
  27. Cough
  28. Shortness of breath
  29. Bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bleeding from cuts.

Alert … Beware

I accessed this link on 18 September 2011: http://www.druglib.com/adverse-reactions_side-effects/sutent/seriousness_death/

Sutent (Sunitinib) – Adverse Event Reports – Death

Cases resulting in death (704). You shall see the entry like this …

Suspect drug(s): Sutent

Possible Sutent side effects / adverse reactions in 52 year old male

Reported by a physician from United States on 2010-03-31

Patient: 52 year old male, weighing 70.0 kg (154.0 pounds)

Reactions: Renal Cancer, White Blood Cell Count Increased, Disease Progression

Adverse event resulted in: death

Suspect drug(s): Sutent

Read more: Sutent for Advance Kidney Cancer https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/18/sutent-for-advanced-kidney-cancer/

Kidney Cancer Part 2: Two Oncologists Two Different Opinions – Is Sutent indicated in this case? https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-cancer-part-2-two-oncologists-two-different-opinions-%E2%80%93-is-sutent-indicated-in-this-case/

Read more about Kidney Cancer:  https://cancercaremalaysia.com/category/kidney-cancer/

Kidney Cancer Metastatised to Lungs After Seven Years

Ray (M578) is a restaurant owner inIndonesia. In December 2007, at the age of 53, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He underwent a radical nephrectomy in a hospital in Melaka. It was a grade 2 RCC (renal cell carcinoma) which had invaded the renal capsule.

After the surgery, Ray was well and life was back to normal again.

 

 

Chris: After the operation, no chemo, no nothing? Did the doctor ever ask you to take care of your diet?

Ray: The doctor told me: Eat whatever you like!

About seven years later, August 2007, Ray developed a cough. A CT scan on 17 August 2007 showed 3 lung nodules of size 1 cm to 2.5 cm. One nodule each in left upper lobe and one in anterior segment right lower lobe.

Ray consulted 4 oncologists who differed in their opinions and offered different treatment options.

Onclogist 1: An oncologist in Melaka asked Ray to take Nexavar (sorafenib). This was a new oral drug. Ray declined the medication.

Onclogist 2: Ray’s wife asked Ray to see an oncologist in Subang where a PET/CT scan was done. This oncologist recommended radiotherapy and Ray was subsequently referred to a radiologist who was hesitant to do the treatment mainly because one of the nodules was situated near Ray’s heart.

Onclogist 3: Ray’s friend from London called and suggested that Ray consulted with an oncologist in Kuala Lumpur. This oncologist did not agree that Ray undergo radiotherapy. He suggested that Ray take an oral drug, Sutent (sunitinib). So Ray was started on Sutent in late August 2007 at a dose of 50 mg daily for 4 weeks (to be recycled every 6 weeks).

Within days after taking Sutent, Ray developed severe side effects which he found intolerable. He had diarrhea, his skin turned yellow, his face swelled, he had painful ulceration of his mouth and throat, blunting of taste sensation, hypertension and worse of all severe hand-foot syndrome. His skin peeled off and he could not walk due to severe pains.

Oncologist 4: Not happy with his Sutent treatment, Ray went to see an oncologist in Singapore. This oncologist was surprised to see Ray all yellow. He told Ray that he disagreed with him taking Sutent and then said: In the first instance, I want to be sure that the nodule is cancer. A biopsy was performed which confirmed that it was indeed a lung metastasis. Ray did another PET/CT scan. The results were amazing. The 3 nodules in the lungs had shrunk in size. This Singapore oncologist was lost for words and was not sure what to do next.

Ray decided to go back to Oncologist 3 in Kuala Lumpur for further management. Oncologist 3 told him: You suffered 7 side effects only. According to the drug company’s information, there are 21 side effects. And you “belum apa-apa” (implying that you are not dead yet!). So it is okay. Ray was asked to continue taking Sutent but at a reduced dosage – 37.5 mg or 3 tablets her day instead of 50 mg or 4 tablets per day). However, even at a reduced dosage Ray still suffered and subsequently Ray took only 2 tablets (25 mg) per day. By January 2008, Ray totally stopped taking Sutent because of the intolerable side effects. Even after stopping Sutent, the problems persisted so much so that Ray was unable to stand up and walk. Ray told the oncologist: I am stopping Sutent, I might die because of the drug and not because of the cancer.

A PET/Scan was performed in June 2008. The tumours had since grown back to their original sizes. The oncologist suggested a new oral drug, Afinitor (everolimus) which has yet to be approved for use by the Malaysian Government. This drug cost RM 1,000 per tablet, meaning a month’s supply costs RM30,000 (as opposed to Sutent which costs RM 18,000 per month).

Ray suffered similar side effects from taking Afinitor – ulcerations of his mouth and itchiness of his head, etc.

Realizing that his father was not going anywhere with these doctors, Ray’s son surfed the net and found CA Care. Ray decided not to take any more of his doctor’s medication and came to seek our help on 29 May 2009.

Comments

There are some lessons we can learn from this story.

  1. Medicine is supposed to be scientific and based on solid proof. In this case, where is the proof? Ray consulted 4 oncologists and each gave their own expert opinions. Dr. Robert Weinberg had rightly said: At present, the choice of drugs to be used … is inspired by … intuition or poorly informed guesses. Note again what he said –  based on poorly informed guesses. Perhaps Voltaire was not far wrong when he said: Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little,   to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.

Oncologist 1 was for Nexavar. Nexavar, which also costs about RM 20,000 per month, is not shown to cure metastatic kidney cancer. Data showed that Nexevar only increased survival by 83 days (With Nexavar median survival = 167 days, Placebo, median survival = 84 days).

Oncologist 2 suggested radiotherapy for reason only known to himself. Radiotherapy is not shown to cure metastatic cancer. The radiologist was right being skeptic about this recommendation. Radiotherapy could damage the heart.

Oncologist 3 was trying new drugs on Ray. The approval of Sutent by the FDA – USA, was on the basis that Sutent shrank tumors in 26% to 37% of patients. Studies have not yet shown that Sutent improves survival, let alone cure cancer.

When Sutent failed, Oncologist 3 suggested a switch to another drug– everolimus (commercial name Afinitor). This drug was approved for use by the FDA on 30 March 2009. It has not been shown to cure any kidney cancer or even prolong survival. It was said to prolong progression-free survival by about 3 months (PFS survival with everolimus – 4.9 months versus 1.9 months with placebo). PFS means the length of time during and after treatment in which patient is living with a disease that does not get worse.

Oncologist 4 took a different route. He thought he had to make sure that the nodules in the lungs were indeed cancerous. It was indeed a thoughtful act or was it due to some other reason best known to himself? Anyway, he was dumbfounded when he found out the Sutent did indeed shrunk the tumours. It should not be any surprise since medical literature said similar thing, except one ought to ask if shrinkage of tumour has any meaning or significance at all.

Patients ought to be informed or know that the use of such drug like Sutent (which is referred to as inhibitor of tumour angionenesis, anti-angiogenic or VEGF-targeted therapy drug) did shrink tumours in clinical studies. These drugs often prolong survival of cancer patients by only months, without offering enduring cure.  But one most important concern is that in studies with mice, these VEGF-targeted drugs initially inhibited primary tumour growth, but later the tumours showed an unexpected surge in growth and became more invasive and spread widely to other parts of the body.

  1. Ray suffered relapse after 7 years after an apparent cure. Most patients are often misled or lulled into a false security or belief that after treatment they are cured. Far from it. This case proved that surgery does not cure cancer. Period.

Over the years, I have seen many case of relapse after surgery. Let me give some examples. These cases involved patients with right kidney cancer. They had undergone surgery to remove the diseased kidney and did not undergo any other follow up treatment since they were deemed cured.

Patient 1 is a 40-year-old female. Surgery done in March 1996. After 5 years, December 2001,  5 lesions her found in her liver. The largest being 4 cm.

Patient 2 is a 30-year-old male. He had surgery in January 2003. Barely 2 years later, December 2004, the cancer spread to his liver. There were 11mm lesion in Segment 8 of his liver and a 8.7 x 7.8 x 12 cm mass in the left para-aortic region.

Patient 3 is a 53-year-old male. He had surgery in December 2000. About 7 years later, in Agusut 2007, there were three lesions in his lungs.

Patient 4 is a 53-year-old male. He had surgery in March 1997. The tumour in his kidney was 4 cm in size. As of this writing, June 2009, he is still doing well. There is no metastasis.

Study these cases again carefully. Patients 1 to 3 all suffered metastasis after their surgery. Patient 4 did not suffer any metastasis. Do you want to know why? From November 1997 immediately after his surgery he was on herbs and has changed his lifestyle and diet. For his story, click on this link: http://cacare.com/index.php?option=com_easyfaq&task=view&id=248&Itemid=39

They say herbal and dietary therapies are not proven! Is the above not proof enough? The proof is in the healing! The above data also proved that medical treatment for renal cancer is on shaky ground indeed.

  1. Medical literature reports effectiveness of Sutent and other drugs, in terms of tumour shrinkage, median survival, progression-free survival, etc. All these are evasive tactics to distract the real issue. What patients want is a cure, after paying for the drugs through their noses. Tumour shrinkage and all these confusing terminologies are meaningless to patients.

Note:

  1. To view video on side effects of Sutent: http://cacare.com/index.php?option=com_easyfaq&task=view&id=270&Itemid=39
  2. To view video on the side effects of Afinitor: http://cacare.com/index.php?option=com_easyfaq&task=view&id=271&Itemid=39

Sutent for Advanced Kidney Cancer

SC (TK826) was a 53-year-old male. He had a history of pains in his right shoulder for almost a year. An X-ray did not show any problem. Then in October 2008, his right hand became weak. MRI showed tumour in his spine – T1 / T2. Titanium stent inserted to support the crushed T1.  Further investigation indicated the primary as cancer of the kidney. He received 20 radiation treatments. In spite of the treatment, the tumour grew bigger and spread to his liver, lungs and abdomen. He was started on Sutent in January 2009. As of 3 February he had started on the second cycle of Sutent. In spite of the drug, MRI on 11 February 2009 showed a large mass in C3 to C7 and there were more metastases in T1/T2 and T5/T6.

 

 

This video was recorded on 9 February 2009. Sadly, SC died on 30 April 2009.

SC suffered the following side effects:

  1. Lost of appetite.
  2. Diarrhoea up to 10 times per day.
  3. Swelling of face.
  4. Ulceration of mouth.
  5. Yellowing of skin.
  6. Difficulty breathing.
  7. Peeling of skin in the feet and hands.

Comments

Below are vital information about Sutent – sunitinib which patients ought to know.

Use: For treatment of refractory unresectable and/or malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and advanced kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma or mRCC).

Cost: RM 20,000 per cycle of treatment which last 4 weeks. Take 4 tablets per day. Rest for 2 weeks before starting a new cycle of 4 weeks.

Effectiveness

  • Approval for kidney cancer was based on a review of the drug’s efficacy in reducing tumor size. Approval of the GIST was mainly based on studies showing that sunitinib delay tumor growth.
  • Sutent shrank tumors in 26% to 37% of patients, according to the FDA. Studies have not yet shown that Sutent improves survival.
  • Liz Szabo, USA TODAY Jan 26, 2006, wrote: Sutent doesn’t cure cancer, but experts say it is an important advance – both for patients and for science. Sutent is a product by Pfizer. Another drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer is Nexavar by Bayer.
  • The median OS for patients receiving SUTENT was 26.4 months vs 21.8 months with IFNα (Note: IFN-α has been used extensively in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Human IFN-α1 is a type I interferon. It is for research use only, not for diagnostic or therapeutic use)

Side effects 
The adverse events included:

The most serious adverse events associated with Sutent therapy included

  • pulmonary embolism
  • thrombocytopenia
  • bleeding from the tumor bleeding or bruising under the skin; coughing blood
  • febrile neutropenia
  • hypertension
  • may harm an unborn baby (cause birth defects). Do not become pregnant. Do not breastfeed while taking SUTENT.
  • may cause heart problems.
  • may cause a hole in the stomach or bowel wall. This could cause symptoms such as painful, swollen abdomen, vomiting or coughing blood, and black, sticky s tools.

Recent research findings on Sutent

  •  Researchers in Canada had reported that Sutent accelerated metastatic tumour growth and decreased overall survival in mice receiving short-term therapy (Cancer Cell 15: 232-239. March 2009).
  • Using mouse model researchers in Spain and California, USA, also showed that Sutent promoted the incidence of highly invasive tumours. The incidence of liver micrometastases was significantly increased by 3.5-fold in treated animal (Cancer Cell 15:220-231. March 2009).

 


Lung-Brain Cancer: An Impossible Healing 1. Hope After a Disaster – when Iressa, Tarceva, Forty Cycles of Chemo and Sutent Did Not Cure Her

Suri (M971) is a 61 year old female from Indonesia. Her family came to seek our help on 8 May 2011. She was wheeled into out centre being unable to walk on her own. She was unable to talk, showed no facial expression and did not seem to know what was going. According to her husband, she behaved like a child. Listen to her husband telling us his wife’s story of tragedy.

 

 

Suri was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2008.

 

She had 22 times of radiation treatments in Singapore. No chemo was done. She was given the oral drug, Iressa. She took it for about a year. Her tongue became numb and so she gave it up. The doctor then gave her Tarceva. She was on this drug for about two years.

About a year later, in 2009, the cancer spread to her brain. She underwent chemotherapy. This was also done in Singapore. Her chemotherapy consisted of the following:

  1. 1 cycle of chemo divided into 3 injections, done once a week for 6 months. That means a total of 18 injections.
  2. 1 cycle of chemo every 2 weeks for 6 months. That means a total of 12 injections.
  3. 1 cycle of chemo every month for 6 months. That means 6 injections.
  4. 1 cycle of chemo every 2 months for a total of 3 injections.
  5. 1 cycle of chemo every 3 months. She received only 1 injection.

In total she received 40 chemo injections.

Three months after all these treatments, MRI showed one additional tumour appeared in her brain.

 

MRI done on 2 May 2011 indicated: “Two small enhancing nodules less than 10 mm noted in the right temporal lobe compatible with brain metastasis.”

Came to CA Care on 5 May 2011

Her husband said, “We knew that chemo did not work for her.  We decided to seek the help of CA Care. Please try and help us. Now the oncologist prescribed this drug, Sutent.  She has been taking in for about a month now. “(Note: after seeing us, the family decided to stop taking Sutent).

She presented with the following serious problems:

  • Severe headaches
  • Vomiting
  • When her two hands are put together, they “fight” trying to tear each other apart.

My comments to the family then were:

  • Based on her medical history, I really don’t know what I can do to help her. We can only try.
  • I don’t want to mislead or cheat you – making your believe that you can find a cure here.
  • If she cannot drink the herbal teas I prescribed, there is no need to bring her here again. There is nothing I can do. But if she can drink the teas, she may benefit from them.
  • As for the prognosis – Don’t think too much or too far! You have spent thousands of dollars and yet they can’t cure you. Don’t expect me to cure you. And I am no magician. But I shall do my best to help. That much I can do.

After Two Months of CA Care’s Herbs

On 17 July 2011, the family brought Suri to come and see us again. Watch the following video and see for yourself the healing that had taken place after two months on our herbs!

 

 

 

Suri’s health had improved tremendously after taking herbs for two month.

  1. Before the herbs, her vision was blurred and she was not able to recognize people around her. But this has since improved. She is now able to recognize people around her again.
  2. Previously she was not able to watch the TV at all. Now, she is able to understand what is going on and can laugh when watching certain programs.
  3. Previously she was not able to comprehend our conversation and was oblivious to her surroundings. Now, she is able to understand and talk to us. She knows what is going on around her. Her sister said, “She can now scold people around her”!
  4. Now she can remember past events and can tell stories based on our old photos. Her husband said, “When she saw our old photos she would talk and talk about it.” But she is not able to remember current events.
  5. In the morning, we bring her for a walk. She can walk 8 rounds of the basket ball court every morning without help. Of course she still lacks strength to walk by herself. Before she couldn’t walk at all.
  6. When sleeping, she can now turn to the left or right. Previously she had to sleep flat and straight unable to turn sideways.

Read the full story …

Part 1: Hope after a disaster

Part 2: A week of amazing healing

Part 3: Reflection and confession of a husband

Part 4: What it takes to be a winner