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Hi everyone,

I do not want to brew any fear here or get anyone worried, and I do not even know if I ought be saying this, but what i am about to say IS a fact, and I want to warn people....

Iressa, is approved for NSCLC, and it has shown some success in patients, however, the sucess (tumor shgrinkage rate) is between 12% - 20% of the time.

After the drug was approved and on the news as a new agent showing "promise", I think many lung cancer patients have gone into their oncologists office, asking and pushing for the drug. A very normal reaction to all of the media coverage--

However, since the drug only works 12-20% of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to exhaust all other options first???

Any input is much appreciated....


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My husband started Iressa on 7/10- after 6 rounds of Carboplatin/Taxol (which worked at first). His lung tumor had shrunk and was stabilized, but he had progressing to one vertebrae and 2 lymph nodes. Only after the progression did our Onc prescribe Iressa. She is very excited about this drug...and she is a professor at UMass Medical School and the director of Hematology and Oncology at UMass Memorial and Medical Center Hospitals here in Worcester. She came highly recommended and I trust her implicilty....

don't know for sure if it is working yet, but Tim feels it has...and after a week on it, ALL of his pain (for which he was taking 40 mg of Oxycontin 2x a day and Percocet every 4 hours) is gone. He had pain in his rib area where the cancer is (lower right lung) and that is where he also had the chest tube in for 11 days when he had the talc pleurodecis. So, something has changed.

Praying to God that this will give us good results....


PS...Iressa was only approved by the FDA for use when a platinum based and taxol based regimen has failed...

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Oh I see, I did not know that it was approved for when a taxol/platinum regimen has failed, now it all makes more sense to me! Good, i am glad to hear your husband is responding well, and glad there is some protocol for te use of this. Thanks again!


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Dear Jonathan,

Carboplatin/Taxol, Taxotere and Gemzar were used for me before I took IRESSA. IRESSA is not a first-line chemo for NSCLC. And by the way, eventhough the 12%-20% sounds low, if it works for a person, it's a tremendous drug. Just one pill a day to keep the lung cancer at bay or shrinking. If something would do that for me, I would call it my miracle. I would encourage people to try IRESSA because they can tell pretty quickly whether it's working or not.

Thinking of you,


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Somewhere I read that Iressa is not given until someone has failed to respond to 3 different chemos. It is a 3rd line treatment I believe they called it. You are correct that the response is about 20% but when it works, it works.

My husband went through carbo/taxol, taxotere, and gemzar before starting Iressa, and it is working for him. I't s good to be in the 20%.

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