Tarceva Effectiveness

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Tarceva Effectiveness

by Jane_m_6 on Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:00 AM

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I was diagonised with stage IV nonsmallcell lung cancer in late 1998.  I had a pneunonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.  I was in remission until April 2005 when lung cancer cells appeared in my ribs.  Parts of three ribs were removed and after six weeks in July of 2005 I began treatment with Tarceva.

I have now taken Tarceva for two years.  The various side effects have subsided, except for diarrhea that is controlled with acidophilos.  My quality of life is excellent.  This drug has done an amazing job for me.

 

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Janii on Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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I am so thankful you are doing so well and letting the rest of us "newbies" know!  That has been one of the problems in that there are so few of us unlike breast cancer survivors that it is refreshing to hear good news!!  I was diagnosed with stage 3A in August of last year, had surgery, chemo, radiation and am now on Tarceva which I started 3 weeks ago.  I am just getting over the rash on my face but have not experienced the diarhea.  So far, so good!!

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Rays_Wife on Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 6/27/2007 Jane m. wrote:

I was diagonised with stage IV nonsmallcell lung cancer in late 1998.  I had a pneunonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.  I was in remission until April 2005 when lung cancer cells appeared in my ribs.  Parts of three ribs were removed and after six weeks in July of 2005 I began treatment with Tarceva.

I have now taken Tarceva for two years.  The various side effects have subsided, except for diarrhea that is controlled with acidophilos.  My quality of life is excellent.  This drug has done an amazing job for me.

 


 

My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in Jan 07.  Surgery was ruled out (devastating) and Ray began chemotherapy (cisplatin & gemcitabine) at the beginning of Feb 07.  After four cycles there was some improvement and he opted to do another two cycles.  We now have one last chemo session on July 4th.  He has done very well on this chemo (very few side affects) but is fatigued.  He has been able to continue working - working from home the day after therapy.  I was happy to see your posting and read how well you are doing.  The news we received regarding survival rates was heart breaking.  My husband has challenged the surgeon to take another look after the chemo is finished and we are hopeful.  Thanks for sharing.

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Jane_m_6 on Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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It is good to hear from you.  I stumbled onto  the message site just yesterday.  I don't personally know anyone else taking Tarceva and am pleased to connect.

Well, I haven't learned to spell diarrhea ye; but I have laerned to live with it and to get it under control.   Acidophilous (sp?) I have begun to take recently.  It seems to help.

The side effects I experienced were first a rash on my face.  They told me at the pharmacy cosmetics just to think it made me look younger...like16!    Left my face and by the end of the second month had migrated to my lower legs.  After that I had some hair loss around my temples.  Later my hair became curly!  It's quite the problem to deal with as it looks like a fright wig with a bad perm if I don't spend time to work with it,  The hair in some respects is more managable as it stays in place better.  The most distressing problem was that I developed infections areound some of my toes, pseudomonos and staph.  It took moths and several rounds of antibotics to kill the critters off; but luckily all has been well for an entire month.  I tell you these things not to worry you; but to let you know things can be overcome and they are not so bad.  Tarceva had just come on the market when I began taking it so I feel very fortunate.

I have PET scans every 90 days and then next one is tomorrow.  It takes a week to know the results.  I'm thinking they will be positive.

How are your spirits?  Have the effects of chemo and radiation going away?

 

    

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Prhlongbeach on Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 6/27/2007 Jane m. wrote:

I was diagonised with stage IV nonsmallcell lung cancer in late 1998.  I had a pneunonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.  I was in remission until April 2005 when lung cancer cells appeared in my ribs.  Parts of three ribs were removed and after six weeks in July of 2005 I began treatment with Tarceva.

I have now taken Tarceva for two years.  The various side effects have subsided, except for diarrhea that is controlled with acidophilos.  My quality of life is excellent.  This drug has done an amazing job for me.

 


 

In December 2004 my sister (age 57) was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC.  Her oncologist asked if she wanted to treat the disease or just be made comfortable.  He estimated her life would end in 3 to 12 months.  My sister answered that she had made her peace with God and now wanted to aggressively fight her cancer. 

She first underwent a traditional chemo treatment using Paclitaxel & Carboplatin.  The side effects were severe and the treatment was NOT effective.  Her oncologist then planned another round of chemo but we demanded Tarceva.  He reluctantly agreed.  The results have been excellent.  The side effects with Tarceva have been minimal and consist of a mild facial rash and some diarrhea.  She has been able to return to a full time professional career and feels healthy most of the time.  The question we are now focused on is how long will the Tarceva produce such a good result and what drugs are under development to follow Tarceva ?

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Jane_m_6 on Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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The question of how long Tarceva will remain effective is one I just live with every day. My first PET scan showed me to be in remission. Every ninety days I have another scan and every ninety days I get a new lease on life so to speak.  As we don't know how long the good effects will last I just have to be happy for each 90 day period.  So far they add up to two years!  Life goes on pretty much as normal.  Sometimes I think I am taking things for granted and then become more appreciative.  It's so good to hear from someone who also is having success. 

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by daughternj2 on Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 6/29/2007 Prhlongbeach wrote:

 

On 6/27/2007 Jane m. wrote:

I was diagonised with stage IV nonsmallcell lung cancer in late 1998.  I had a pneunonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.  I was in remission until April 2005 when lung cancer cells appeared in my ribs.  Parts of three ribs were removed and after six weeks in July of 2005 I began treatment with Tarceva.

I have now taken Tarceva for two years.  The various side effects have subsided, except for diarrhea that is controlled with acidophilos.  My quality of life is excellent.  This drug has done an amazing job for me.

 


 

In December 2004 my sister (age 57) was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC.  Her oncologist asked if she wanted to treat the disease or just be made comfortable.  He estimated her life would end in 3 to 12 months.  My sister answered that she had made her peace with God and now wanted to aggressively fight her cancer. 

She first underwent a traditional chemo treatment using Paclitaxel & Carboplatin.  The side effects were severe and the treatment was NOT effective.  Her oncologist then planned another round of chemo but we demanded Tarceva.  He reluctantly agreed.  The results have been excellent.  The side effects with Tarceva have been minimal and consist of a mild facial rash and some diarrhea.  She has been able to return to a full time professional career and feels healthy most of the time.  The question we are now focused on is how long will the Tarceva produce such a good result and what drugs are under development to follow Tarceva ?


 

It is so nice to read a positive story and hope yours continues.  My mom has just begun Tarceva and is on week 2.  She seems to be tolerating it well as her blood counts have gone up and the side effects have not yet taken over.  My mom who is a stage IV nsclc seems extremely fatigued and her quality of life is judged by the fact that she can shower and go to the bathroom by herself.  She seems to be getting weaker and I can't imagine her having the energy to make her bed much less go back to work.  Did you go through a tough period before you were able to go to work?  They want to pair tarceva with avastin- did you ever have or consider this combination?

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Cat2104 on Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi there.

 

Thats amazing news and really gives me a lot of hope. My dad has gone through a similar ordeal however the chemo hasnt worked and now we are considering Tarceva.

However, can i just ask whether you were a smoker?

 

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Jane_m_6 on Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:00 AM

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No I was not a smoker.  That fact doesn't make having lung cancer any better or worse.  I just hope we all realize smoker or not makes no difference in the treatment or course of lung cancer.

We do need continued awareness that lung cancer is smoking related and the fact that it is should not make us any less sympathetic.  Unfortunately it may interfere with research and development because of the stigma.

I wish your father all the best with his treatment.

Sincerely, Jane M

RE: Tarceva Effectiveness

by Jane_m_6 on Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:00 AM

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It's been awhile since I checked the message board and I am wondering how things are going with your sister and with you. No, I did not have avastin (sp?); but had it been recommended I certainly would have tried it. I continue to do well with Tarceva. Praise the Lord! Jane M
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