Understanding Afinitor Everolimus and mTOR

As you know, I am on Afinitor right now. Afinitor is the brand name of everolimus. So far, it has been shrinking my carcinoid tumors. My understanding is that it will eventually stop working. So, I will eventually not be taking it any longer. Understanding afinitor, everolimos and mTOR is important if you want to be an informed cancer patient. I’ve written this post to try to explain how Afinitor, also known as Everolimos, works on the off chance you might be taking it now or in the future.

Understanding Afinitor, Everolimos and mTOR

This stuff is hi-tech, baby! I think I understand it but, wow….it’s complicated. If you have ever asked your oncologist what Afinitor does then you were probably told that it inhibits signaling, or messaging,ย  or something to that effect. mTOR stands for mammalianย target of rapamycin. Rampamycin is a protein that was discovered in the soil at Easter Island. Yes, the island with the crazy head statues. My understanding of Afinitor is that it regulates cell growth, proliferation, motility and survival through the inhibition of a chemical process known as kinase. Kinase, as I understand it is where the cell gets it’s energy to do these things on a cellular level. Rampamycin is made available to the cell through this process and so, inhibiting this process by using Afinitor stops the cell from engaging in these activities on the molecular level. So, where a tumor has previously been growing, it now stops growing and slowly starts shrinking as old cancer cells are not replenished through cellular division. Here’s a wiki article on the process. Read More

Afinitor and Immunity

As you probably already know, I have decided to focus on immunotherapy to fight my cancer. So, you will be interested to know that Afinitor suppresses the immune system. You should be aware of this because it will affect your overall health and can result in slow healing wounds, infections and more. While I am on Afinitor I will be looking at ways to boost my immunity.

It’s funny but nobody even told me about this when they put me on the drug. In fact, it seems that all I get is a piece of paper with instructions to “read this and call if you have questions”. Is it me or is that below par when it comes to cancer care? Has anyone else had a different experience? Here’s an overview and a list of side effects from the afinitor website. Read More

It Stops Working

So far, I have not been able to find any good information on this subject. All I know is that sooner or later the drug stops shrinking the tumors. I don’t know why and I don’t know how long it works before it stops working. If you have any added information about this, please share. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for me, the mouth sores are back and I seem to be having trouble breathing now which is also one of the side effects. Ug, here we go again. So….my doctor took me off of the chemo (short break) until the sores and breathing issues clear up.

Stay Strong,
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13 Comments

  1. As always, it amazes me the depth of knowledge you have accumulated in the course of this journey. Hopefully, your sores and breathing will clear quickly for you on this break!!

  2. Every post you send us gives me more information. You really have to wonder why your therapists aren’t more forthcoming about your treatment. How can you be expected to ask questions about the meds when they give you so little information? Someone less informed and less sure of themselves might just suffer in silence. Maybe you’d be a good patient advocate. I hope this hiatus will give you some relief from the side effects you’re dealing with.

    • If I ever get my energy back I said to Lisa that I might try being a “Cancer Coach”. My term. Meaning that maybe I could help people find answers, do research for them, encourage them and such. Look at me making plans for “after the cancer”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks. Interesting too.
      Now, my brains are full. That’s not good. ha ha ha ha! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Would you be interested in teaming up on some research and writing some collaborative posts to help and inform others? We could try something small.at first. What do you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

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