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Hi...I'm new to this board....although I'm happy to have stumbled upon it and ask for your wisdom, I sure wish we all didn't have to be here....

My mother-in-law (life long non smoker) was diagnosed with Stage II NSCLC in Feb. 2003. She finished up chemo/radiation, hoping for surgery but unfortunately a PET & CT scan recently done show that it has spread to the right mediastinum and she is now Stage IIIB.

Obviously, surgery is not an option.

The dr. told my husband that on Friday, we'll discuss her using Iressa now.

I turn to you: do you have any experiences with this drug or have you read about anything? Is its purpose a cure or just a relief of symptoms?

I just want to absorb this all in before I go there so I'll know what to ask, etc. so any advice, experiences is much appreciated. And please don't be afraid to be honest...I need the truth as these drs talk in circles sometimes.

Thank you...

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Hello again, Joan! Having posted to you in the Newcomers part. My wife takes Iressa and has been on it for over two weeks now. It is primarily used for NSCLC as a maintenance treatment after chemo and radiation have been used. Some it works on, and some it doesn't. Main side effects are diarrhea and skin rash. My wife has had both, but mild case in both instances. Don

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Sometimes a test will be done at least for breast cancer for HER2 or erbb2. Both are oncogenes - genes that cause cancer. I am not sure but they may test in lung cancer patients. Iressa works in about 15% of patients.

The one article says using Herceptin and Iressa combined worked better for breast cancer. There was a trial. I believe for lung cancer with herceptin but it didn't work. I think the combined treatments though may work better because they block different ways the tumor cells grow.

Tiny posted an article about some combination w/ iressa

I read a while ago that cancer may stop growing for a while when treatment starts, but it has the ability to grow through different "signalling pathways".

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... t=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... t=Abstract

The bottomline is that it works in some people. Is easy to take (by pill) and has relatively few / major side effects.

There were some deaths in Japan, but nothing has been mentioned of this lately, so I assume they were not related to the iressa

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