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LanaD

Tarceva effectiveness

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I am a lung cancer survivor.  Was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago September and have been on Tarceva for about a year.  Would like to hear from anyone who currently is on this medication, had been, for how long, side effects and if you were switched to another drug?  I was told Tarceva is effective for 12-18 months but at about one year there is a percentage of  people for whom the Tarceva  starts becoming ineffective.  But by the same token there is a percentage of people that Tarceva continues to be effective.  Where am I? Who knows? But any thoughts shared on this will be appreciated.

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Lana,

I took Tarceva for 18 weeks as a part of my combination chemotherapy during my 4th line treatment.  Once daily doses of Tarceva and every third week of infused Taxol and Carboplatin.  This was back in 2006 and Tarceva what new on the market.  Doctors didn't yet understand why it worked.  Tumor marker testing did not yet exist so doctors were using it because it displayed dramatic results in some lung cancer patients.  I was not one of them.

But, I know a lady (Lilly W.) who survived for 10 years taking Tarceva on a daily basis.  It shrank some of her tumors and kept others in check.  It was so effective, she passed away from a heart attack despite being in stage IV active lung cancer treatment.  So it can be very effective and I've read of others who've had a similar experience.  So I believe there are many people who exceed the 12 to 18 month effectiveness period you cite.  Who knows?  You could repeat Lilly's experience.

Stay the course.

Tom

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