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    friskycatmom asked a questionLung Cancer

    Tarceva Side Effects and Effectiveness

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    friskycatmom shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Maintenance chemotherapy): My sister-in-law has just yesterday completed her sixth round of Chemo, with cisplatin and docetaxel. During her fifth and sixth round, she took Dexamethason for three days... before, during and the day after. Four tablets a day. This helped lighten the side effects from chemo, however it did induce greater noticable swelling of the face and body.

    She had an MRI of the head in December which showed two small cancer growths. She took Dexamethason and received one round of radiation using a cyberknife type treatment.

    Since last writing here on WhatNext, she has had a second opinion meeting with Dr. Joel Neal at Stanford University Cancer Center. He concurred with her treatment plan. However she is now scheduled for a PET scan on Feb. 21st, which will be three weeks after her last chemo infusion.

    All doctors have agreed that radiation is not an option since there are lesions in both lungs and the head. They recommend and she will start Tarceva on Feb. 27 and will see her doctor one week later.

    Can any of you reading this please advise or comment of the effectiveness and side effects from Tarceva. How long can this drug be taken?

    God Bless you and best wishes to all.

    1 Comment
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      This is a great question. I suggest that you post it in our Questions section. You can do this by clicking on the "Ask Network" link on your logged in home page or the "Questions" link at the top of this page. When you post needs/questions using our question feature, we route your question to everyone in the network who might be able to help

      over 4 years ago
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    friskycatmom posted an update

    My sister in law was told that her two chemo treatments, which consisted of Cisplatin and Docetaxel, were not working. Her blood test tumor markers were not right.

    1 Comment
    • RuthAnne's Avatar
      RuthAnne

      You might want to see if her oncologist is familiar with carboplatin and Avastin treatments. Also, I don't know what type of cancer she has, but if it's NSCLC, she should be tested for the EGFR mutation. If positive, she could be a candidate for Tarceva, which seems to have phenomenal results.

      There are more options out there, I think. It's good you're here. Being pro-active is good for the spirits.

      almost 5 years ago
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    friskycatmom asked a questionLung Cancer

    My sister in law was diagnosed with stage 3A Lung Cancer.

    6 answers
    • Sandra's Avatar
      Sandra

      I took radiation with my chemo. I was told chances of a cure are better with radiation and both the chemos she is on. It worked for me with almost identical diagnosis. I have been cancer free 2 years, from stage 3 lung 5cm mass and 5 lymph nodes.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sandra's Avatar
      Sandra

      they need the mri of the brain and if it's clear she needs to be on radiation!!

      over 4 years ago
    • stage5guy's Avatar
      stage5guy

      Make sure they test her for Gene Mutations and Rearrangemens. I turned out to be ALK positive. It is an expensive test but insurance covered it. It is fairly rare, but frontline chemos were not working for me at all. My Onc was sure I was not positive. He was wrong! Now, with the ALK blocker I am taking I am doing well. There are several other more common mutations to test for as well, and will guide you on a different course of treatment.

      I would assume they will start Zomeda (osteoperosis treatment) for the bones (fairly typical protocal for NSCLC Adenocarcenoma), Having said all this, I would urge you to call the Livestrong Foundation in Austin, Texas. They are fierce advocates for people with cancer, they are the ones who told me about ALK and probably saved my life.

      http://www.livestrong.org/

      about 4 years ago