What happens next if Chemo doesn't work?

I was just wondering if any of you have had chemo not to work. What did the doctors do next? My chemo was gemzar and carbo. I am highly allergic to taxil. I have stage III A ovarian cancer.

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My Onc just tries another chemo when a certain chemo hasn't worked. There are so many out there. I have been on carbo/taxol/doxil/gemzar/topotecan. He also gives me a break between each chemo,especially if my numbers are down in the normal zone. I just finished Topotecan on June2..and looks like I'll be on another chemo as soon as the middle of Sept..since the cancer is back again. Good luck~~~Joanne

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I have not been in the situation where the chemo has not worked. I was dx 3c and went on taxol/cisplatin my treatments ended in July and I now go back in Nov to see what is happening. If your onocologist does not offer any more help you can always try and go to a homopathic doctor and try natural medicine. There are not any results posted out there to follow if it works or not, but if all else fails try it. Good Luck Kelly

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Dear Sara,

As Joanne said there are many protocols out there that you haven't tried yet. So don't give up. --hang in there--Peg.

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Please, please, please be very very careful considering going to a homopathic doctor!!! I am not saying that it will never work, however, think of this:

Do you, yourself, know anyone personally who has ever been totally cured of oc by an "alternative" medicine alone? Do you yourself personally know anyone who has ever been cured of oc by homopathics? Do you yourself personally know of anyone else who actually really personally knows anyone who has been cured of oc by either method?

I have heard stories just like you have of "people" who get miraculous cures like these. However, I never have met them myself, heard from them, seen them, nor do I know A SINGLE PERSON who has. I have personally heard from people who tell those stories of cures and they are ALL trying to sell something or have tried to encourage me to buy something from someone else. But I never have been able to MEET a person who can document real recovery by alternatives or homopathics.

Both of those methods, alternative and homopathic, give hope. That is one good thing. But it is the only good thing I know about them for sure, they give hope, even if it is false hope. There maybe is a point where people need that too.

ovarian cancer ( I refuse to capitalize those words!!) is a dangerous and insidious cancer and it needs very real treatments. And there are very real and good treatments out there. I too would like to know what happens when nothing works ..... but that is because I want to be prepared .... not because I want to chase expensive "cures" to the outer limits of the world.

Each of us must do what we think and feel is best for us individually, and for those we love, at the time we make that choice. Please be careful about what those choices are and that they are based on good sound thought and advice. Get lots of opinions, not just one or two, and certainly not just mine!! What I write here is only my opinion. I can be wrong, and am, often.

Please forgive the soapbox lecture if you think it is one. I get anxious sometimes about what we are/might be tempted to try, and I care about that, and about each of you as we all make this journey.
Warm regards, and best wishes for YOUR new year.
Make it as perfect for you as possible.

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Hi iListen

What a very sensible reply. I quite agree that many ppl chase all sorts of odd "cures". You can understand the despair that leads patients and relatives to search for the magic cure out there - Especially when it is so easy nowadays via the Internet.

Yes, keep as fit and nutritionally well as possible but accept that all these fringe treatments will not cure you.


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Hi Everybody

I have been reading the postings but this is my first reply, all the way from the UK.

I share similar concerns about the use of alternative treatments. By all means seek complementary treatments to help you cope with the symptoms but there is no magic cure out there.

If your chemo does not work then your oncologist will simply try another drug combination, there are plenty of options available.

But please do not think that fancy diets, enemas, special injections etc will do the trick on their own. If they did then oncologists around the world would be using them to cure us of ovarian cancer!

Making sure you are as fit and well as possible so that you can cope with whatever drugs your oncologist suggests, is probably the best way forward.


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Hi, Just a brief note. I mentioned to the resident who is working with my gyn/onc that some of the headlines I have read are "what your doctor won't tell you," referring to some alternative tx. He laughed and said, "Iif I knew the magic cure, I would love to be the one to share it. I would be famous and rich."

I read with interest the story on 60 minutes about the man who came up with a potential cure using radio/waves. It is now in testing at the U of Pittsburgh. I will be more than glad to be a guinea pig when that one is tested on humans!

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I have met and spoken to cancer survivors who have been "cured" or are in long term remission using alternative medicine. I'm not advocating doing alternative only ( I did go through 8 rounds of chemo and thankfully, I am in remission ), but I certainly would consider going completely alternative if all traditional medicine failed. As I pointed out before, I have corresponded quite a bit with Kay Bevan, who is lieted on www.brave-souls.com as an OC survivor who used alternative medicine. She was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer 16 years ago, and after surgery and 2 years of chemo, the doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her. It was then that she began looking into alternative medicine, and for her, shark cartilage is what put her into remission. If anyone cares to e-mail her, her e-mail address is lited on brave-souls.com and she will gladly respond. She also sent me a book she wrote about her experience. And although it is not ovarian cancer, I have also met a local woman who after a recurrence of stage IV breast cancer ( that had metastasized to some of her bones ), switched her diet to be 100% vegetarian, eating a lot of raw organic vegetables and juices. That was 5 years ago, and she is still around. More incredible, the metastasis to her bones has disappeared. So yes, I do believe that for some people, there are altermative therapies that work. It is always best to work with a traditonal doctor and traditional medicine. I think there is also a place for alternative therapies ( as complementary medicine to help keep you in remissiom, or when all else fails ).

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There are many types and combinations of chemos that can be used, so because you are allergic to one does not mean others are not available. Your gyn. will figure out which one or combo is best for you and give them a try. This is common since ovca recurs so frequently, so you are not alone.

I'm IIIC and I have been on Taxol/carbo, then we tried taxol/carbo, switching to taoxtere carbo midway. For this recurrence, I'm on Doxil. We'll see how it goes, but my onc. is prepared to add to to it or change it if necessary. As my onc. tells me, there are plenty of options out there.

I also suggest going with the proven protocols and staying away from alternative medicine for ovca. It is a sneaky, nasty cancer and one not to be fooled around with. I had a beautiful young cousin with a treatable uterine cancer who decided to cure herself with diet, etc. She moved to the country to do this and defied everyone. We can now visit her grave in the cemetery. Just personal, painful experience.

Talk to your gyn. and get the answers you need so you are comfortable. i wish you the very best.

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