Chemo+ immunotherapy


my mum is about to start treatment (after a ridiculously long delay, don’t get me started!).  Her consultant last week said that she has been approved to have chemo + immunotherapy.  My mum is awful at asking questions / king for clarification so limited info

is this standard treatment protocol?  Does use of immunotherapy mean they are only trying to extend life as I have read max 2 year on this?


  • Hi LL82

    I don't know how long it has taken for the decision to start Chemo + Immunotherapy as your Mum's treatment, but it is good that now at least you know what the plan is. 

    I have not heard before that a patient can only stay on the treatment for a maximum of two years, this may be the case for some people?  Do you know what the treatment is that she will be given? Even if Mum had asked questions I am not sure she would get the answers that you are looking for, I asked many questions when my husband was first on treatment and the responses where always quite vague, mainly due to the fact that until there is an understanding of how the treatment reacts with the patent it is difficult to know.  But for my husband the Systemic Anti Cancer Treatment, Trastuzumab, which is a targeted monoclonal antibody drug, specifically seeks out cells that carry large amounts of HER2 and it stops those cancer cells growing or dividing. 

    He has been having treatment, which initially started with chemotherapy, since May 2020, the Trastuzumab started around August that year, and currently he has that every two weeks, with no sign of stopping as of yet. 

    I wish your Mum every success with her treatment and hope that in time you will both get the answers that you need. 


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  • Hi I started chemo/immunotherapy last month as palliative treatment. Because my tumor is advanced and spread to a lymph node high up in my chest it was deemed inoperable. To be accepted for immunotherapy your oncologist must think that you have a good chance of responding well. Under present NHS guidelines the treatment can only be licensed for 2 years due to the high cost. Having said that I have learnt that these drugs can now develop a memory in your Immune system that can continue after the maximum treatment. Not sure how true this is and also because it has not been used for our type of tumor for very long they are still learning. I have just finished my first cycle and luckily it has gone well so far, repeat it all on Wednesday. 4 cycles of chemo and up to 35 of immunotherapy. Wish your mum well and tell her she is in good hands, keep fit and eat as well as she can and most of all enjoy the good things in her life