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gefitinib [Irressa]


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Hi everyone.

Thanks for all the advice you've given me so far, but I'm back seeking more good info.

Again, my mom was just diagnosed with small cell stage 4 lung cancer[adenocarcinoma]. I am trying to keep her spirits up because she starts chemo on monday. She is very down and I am not sure what to say anymore. :cry:

I've been getting stuff in the mail from the various major cancer resources, also I've been reading some books about lung cancer. The one book said to make sure you are informed about all of your options, and sometimes doctors can be preferential to their own clinical trials, or ignorant that others exist. Obviously I want to make sure that doesn't happen.

Everything I am getting from you guys and texts says knowledge is key.

I happened to come across this article on ACS's website that made me curious about this drug.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/FPS/conte ... teArea=LRN

Here is more information on it, but I am unclear as to whether it was recalled in the US or not.


The drugs name is Irressa, or gefitinib. Can anyone shed some more light on this drug for me?

Much appreciated.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


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Others can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Iressa has been recalled in the US in favor of a drug called Tarceva. Both Iressa and Tarceva are similar. They are oral form of pills and have helped many remain stable.

I believe t hese drugs are typically used after traditional chemo.

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Do you mean non-small cell stage four? Iressa and tarceva are used for non small cell lung cancer. My husband was on both Iressa and Tarceva-- due to tarceva performing better than Iressa patients were switched. Patients that wished were allowed to stay on Iressa. You should look into tarceva for her. When it works it is a miracle drug. It held my husband stable and in good health for a long time. Good luck to you.

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1)FDA and Iressa VS. Tarceva Link

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/g ... efault.htm

Tarceva Link

http://info.healthline.com/drugs/tarcev ... h.info.com

I believe that we have at least 1 new member on Iressa This Is Jen T's post last Saturday.

http://lchelp.org/community/viewtopic.p ... ght=iressa

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John--By all means look into Tarceva. I have been on it for 14 months and have had great (see my profile) results. Comes in pill form, take it once a day/most start out at 150MG. The good thing is if severe side effects arise the dosage can be lowered and still have good results. Side effects varies from person to person but seems rash and diarrhea are at the top of the list. Of course everyone is different and reacts differently. There is also an 800 number you can call @ www.tarceva.com for more information. Hope this helps. Prayers for the best. Rich

PS: Was also on Iressa for 8 months and had very good results, but did stop working.

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My Mom has been on Iressa for almost 2 years and has been stable. As others have stated, Dr's will not prescribe Iressa for new patients. I think it was about this time last year that my Mom and her doc had to fill out paper work proving that she had been on it and that she has benefitted from the treatment. She can also only get it via the mail as the hospital pharmacy no longer stocks it.

Obviously, I cannot speak to the Tarceva but the drugs in this group, when they work, tend to work very well.

Best of luck to you!

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Well my mom was one of the ones who took IRESSA/Tarceva FIRST. She had end stage renal disease and was on dialysis so they oncologists got her approved for it as a first-line treatment, since a lot of other traditional chemos are too hard on the kidneys. Unfortunately it really didn't work for her. But it really seems to be magic for a LOT of patients!

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