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Irissa only option?


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My girlfriend was dx in sept with nsclc stage3 I think. She had hodkins in 1979 and had chemo (mop) and radiation. In 1999 she was dx with pulminary fibrosis and put on oxigen. She is now on a ventilator in a nursing rehab. She was put on a ventilator when they did biopsy on mass in center of chest. They said she could not have radiation because she had it in 1979. They said no chemo because she could not fight off infection on vent. One oncolgist gave her Iressa and it stopped tumor from growing after 30 days of treatment. Because she is on the ventilator she has to be transported in a ambulance and not to many Doc's come to nursing rehab.

Can Iressa still shrink tumor even know it stopped growth in 1st month? If it does then her breathing should improve and maybe she can get off ventilator and have access to other treatments.

My gilrfriend is 43 years old and has made some progress with the vent weening but it has been slow, Thanks for any help, Steve

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Thats a very difficult situation. Iressa can shrink the tumor but if it has not shrunk after a month, it is very likely that it will remain stable. It does sound like chemotherapy would be difficult in her situation. MOPP chemotherapy often damages the bone marrow and that combined with her radiation would make most chemotherapy drugs very problematic. Sorry you are in such a tough spot, hopefully the Iressa will work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tarceva does have better survival data than Iressa which has not been shown to prolong survival. There has not been a head to head comparison of the two drugs, however. The risk of interstitial pneumonitis is similarly very small with both drugs. I'm not sure if there is much of a difference between the two in reality but I am going to be using Tarceva as my preferred EGFR inhibitor.

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