• My platelets are staying to low after 5 of 6 chemo treatments. My doc will not do the 6 th treatment. He is giving me 4 weeks off.

    Asked by Leung on Sunday, December 23, 2012

    My platelets are staying to low after 5 of 6 chemo treatments. My doc will not do the 6 th treatment. He is giving me 4 weeks off.

    He will then re-test me and is talking about putting me into a phase 1 program . Does anyone know anything about this? I'm nervous. I'm stage 4.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • GregA0406's Avatar


      I can only speak for my case, but during an earlier treatment, the doc's put my chemo on hold due to low platelettes. Once the numbers were back in an acceptable range, they continued my chemo. An option is platelette infusion. But, the body can build up antibodies to the infused platelettes and any further platelette infusion may not be as effective. So, in my case, rest was the answer.

      almost 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      Low counts are part of the normal process of many chemo regiments. And it is scary and frustrating.

      That was the most frustrating for me was having to sit out treatments while my blood counts came back up. Gives new meaning to the word "patience". I "flunked out" of my trial because my counts were low 3 times during the 6 cycles. Each cycle was 3 weeks of chemo. I was off for 2 or 3 weeks each time. I did not qualify for the drugs used to build up platelets or white cells because my chemo was weekly. I received platelets and packed red blood cells several times. Felt better after those infusions.

      The nursing staff said I was the only one to beg them for chemo. Hope there is some time during this "off time" that you feel good so you can enjoy it.
      Hang on!

      almost 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm (Best Answer!)

      Leung, are you sure he said a phase 1 trial? That seems odd. Normally a phase 1 trial does not monitor the effectiveness of a drug, only measures the side effects. I have had other patients with that same problem where a chemo has depleted the platelets and it takes awhile to regenerate. Some of my patients were offered a biologic in the meantime and perhaps you might want to ask your doctor if that is an appropriate option for you. Studies are nothing to be nervous about, in fact because the information goes right to the FDA, they are more safe than most treatments are these days. Also, you can drop out of a study at any time, it is your right. Study coordiators go out of their way to bring you comfort, knowledge and understanding. Best of luck and if you find that it not something you wish to do, you do not have to participate. You can always find an oncologist that will go farther than the last. If you do wish to go into the trial, ask the doctor if he has other patients in the trial, find out how they are doing. Also, once you have the name of the trial, you can go to the FDA website and see the status of the trial, any adverse events or warnings, all trials are public information. Best of luck to you, Carm.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Leung's Avatar

      Yep I'm almost positive he said phase 1 trial . My platelets have always gone down after chemo, but this last time, they have gone down 6 weeks straight. He says this is not the treatment for me, it could be devastating next time. This is why he suggested the trial. I am also stage 4 and he doesn't think the hospital will approval a bone marrow transfusion which would help. Thanks for responding. Gives me hope!

      almost 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I have had my treatment postponed because of low platelets, if they get too low, you can't clot. I've also had my treatments postponed because of low white blood cell and Hemoglobin counts. Chemo works by killing fast growing cells, blood and bone marrow cells naturally grow fast, and are effected by the cocktails, it's just part of the journey.

      almost 4 years ago

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