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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:20 pm 
Director of Support & Advocacy, LUNGevity
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 11:09 am
Posts: 15199
Location: Texas
"Tarceva may be a viable alternative to platinum-based chemotherapy in newly diagnosed NSCLC patients with EGFR activating mutations,"

http://www.gene.com/gene/news/press-rel ... l&id=13207

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:00 pm
Posts: 1069
Location: Seattle
It is important to make the distinction here that they are talking about 1st line treatment for people dx with advanced lung cancer - Tarceva is not considered a cure, but can treat for progression free and overall survival. If your doctor is proposing chemo/radiation or surgery with curative intent, this news is not applicable.

I spent many moments wondering why I had surgery, chemo and radiation once I went onto Tarceva - it was for that possibility of a cure prior to my mets. I needed to remind myself of that on more than one occasion.

On the other hand, for many people this will be a good option - I hope that they find a way to test more quickly for the EGFR mutation.

(photo: me in '61)
Female never smoked, 52 at diagnosis, otherwise healthy
09/08: false cardiac event = finding of 3 cm tumor upper right lobe plus two .5 cm nodes elsewhere on chest x-ray at ER
09/08: CTScan with IV contrast confirms.
10/08: Pulmonary referral for EBUS - bronchoscopy - confirms NSCLC - adenocarcinoma, with bronchoalveolar features
10/08: PetScan - further confirmation, classified T1N0MX (false negative) VATS scheduled.
11/08: full open surgery - revised to T4N2MX with positive spread to 2 lymph nodes, removed upper lobe with 3 cm tumor and partial mid lobe with (1) .5 cm tumor, 3 lymph nodes on trachea - 1 lymph node and margins negative.
5 night hospital stay.
12/08: Port-a-cath implanted
12/08: Brain MRI and hearing test - good other than minor high end loss in left ear
12/08: start (4) 21 day cycles of chemo - day 1 cisplatin and gemcitabine, day 8 gemcitabine alone, day 15 off - tolerated it pretty well - a little hair thinning and follicle inflammation, some ringing in ears and vertigo, much fatigue, and nausea. Kept my taste-buds almost intact.
02/27/09: completed 4 cycles of chemo!
03/03/09: removed port-a-cath
03/27/09: tattooed for radiation
03/30/09: start radiation (IMRT) 5x/wk for 6 weeks - fatigue, moderate esophagitis
5/08/09: completed treatment
6/22/09: NED
9/18/09: Recurrance in the liver and scattered in lungs. No symptoms. Rx Tarceva.
9/25/09: start Tarceva
11/20/09: clear lungs, shrinkage in liver.
2/24/10: still good on Tarceva
6/3/10: graduated to 6 month scan
12/9/10: new 6 cm tumor in liver
12/28/10: stop Tarceva
1/10/11: carbo/alimta/avastin
3/11/11: scan after 3 cycles 72%ish met reduction, stay the course
5/26/11: scan after 6 cycles, stable.
5/31/11: begin Avastin maintenance.
8/17/11: met growth, stop Avastin. Start Alimta.
10/25/11: met growth, stop Alimta. Wondering what to do next?
1/24/11: start hospice

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:24 pm
Posts: 834
Location: Connecticut
I was stage four at diagnosis. My first oncologist was going to go the typical chemo path. I am thankful everyday that I went for a second opinion and that oncologist immediately tested me for the egfr mutation. He put me on Tarceva as a FIRST line treatment.
That was four years ago next month. :D

Diagnosed at 47 years old - never smoked
3 amazing children, now 27, 25, and 24
Married 30 years

12/22/06 Diagnosed NSCLC Stage IV - Adnocarcinoma
Tumor in Rt Lung, 3 on Spine, one on the Pons of the brain
Radiation to the spine
Fractionated Linac Stereotactic Radiotherapy to the Pons of the brain

2/15/07 Start Tarceva 150 mg
4 1/2 years of "no progression of disease"

4/11/11 New mets on brain, Gamma Knife Radiation
Probable Leptomeningeal Disease.
Start "pulsing Tarceva" 1500mg 1xweek

7/11 - Brain mets swelling as an after effect of Gamma Knife, put on anti seizure meds, steroids.
New mets on spine and lung - watching.

9/11 - No new growth in Brain - more growth on spine and ribs. Back to Tarceva 100mg daily, adding Avastin every 3 weeks.

12/11 - Scans show no new growth, some mets stable, others have shrunk!

12/22/11 - 5 year survivor!!!!!

7/20/12 - scans show new growth in lungs and spine. Staying on Tarceva and Avastin and adding Alimta and Carboplatin.

10/12 Taken off Alimta and Carboplatin due to extreme side effects, continuing on Tarceva and Avastin - scans stable

Winter/13. Scans show growth again. Bones, lungs, lymph nodes, spleen. Time to look into clinical trials

4/13. Started clinical trial at Yale AP26113 by ARIAD, a "second generation Tarceva", side effects so far, diarrhea and nausea.

My story - http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=46162

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