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Hi All,

I'm new in this forum. Just trying to figure how everything works.

I guess I can start to explain how cancer is affecting my life.

My father was diag with stage 4 non small cell lung cancer March of 2005. He had 2 rounds of chemo that was successful followed by 2 more rounds that were not. Unfortunately I do not remember which chemo drugs they were

My father was then offered Tarceva around July 2005. He had tolerated it well, but he just had a scan on May 31 b/c he has not been feeling well. Well today the results showed that the tumor in the liver has increased in size, which is an indication that he has become resistant to the drug. He has never had any luck with decreasing the size of his lung tumors, but at least the liver tumor has shrunk a little prior to the latest scan.

The doctor had told my parents that there are no other drugs out there that would be benefical. I guess the next course of treatment for him is to double the dose of the Tarceva and to monitor it through another scan late June.

Just wondering if anyone has become resistant to Tarceva or Iressa for that matter and how it was dealt with.

I am at a total loss. Like many others, this horrible disease had hit my family suddenly for my father has never smoked a day in his life.

Any information will be greatly appreciated.



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Hi Shirley: welcome to this site. I am sorry that your father has to deal with lung cancer.

I would question why your father does not have more options for treatment. Has he tried alimta, taxotere, avastin? Has he tried radiation? There are also several combinations of tarceva and other drugs that are promising. Your father may be able to reduce or eliminate tumors using cyberkife or image guided radiaiton therapy.


http://www.thedoctorslounge.net/oncolog ... m.php?f=27

I think your father should seek a second opinion at a major cancer center.

Don M

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Hi Don,

Thank you so much for responding. My father had two rounds of chemo with Alimta with it. Unfortunately it hasn't helped at all.

He started Tarcevea July 2005 and it was working beautifully. All of a sudden my world fell apart again. He had a clean scan a little before Easter 2006 and he had a last minute scan scheduled b/c he started to not feel well.

I'm not sure what they are going to do with the met in the brain. I heard from the onc fellow that it's about 1 cm and that the neuro onc will need to do a full M.R.I. Now I'm afraid that they'll find more stuff. The onc fellow mentioned that he'll prob receive radiation. I haven't researched much on the cyberknife - but the limited knowledge I have on it strongly suggests that it is a much better option than radiation.

I'm just devastated that the Tarceva has stopped working.


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Hi Shirley,

Sorry to hear about your father but glad you found us. It sounds extremely strange that your ONC would give up after two Chemo Regimens. Check some of our Bios and you will find many of us have survived years with several Chemos, radiation and new procedures.

You didn't mention where you are located, but you must be relatively close to a National Cancer Institute.They are the experts and until you get their opinion, you won't know what is out there. They are extremely helpful. ONCs comein many forms, but the experts are at NCCs.

Good luck and God Bless.


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Hi Charlie,

Well, I'm from Massachusetts and my parents are just a train ride to Boston. My father's new onc (his old onc went back to Canada) is the Chief of Onc at New England Medical. When my father was first diagnosed I practically had to drag him to Dana Farber where he saw an onc that focused the most on research. He said that he pretty much agreed with the treatment that NEMC had to offer.

I'm finding it very difficult to persuade the onc to do something besides "textbook." I want an onc that is aggressive in treating my father and who is not afraid to try new combos and new things. I feel like the onc that look at my father's case feels that it is hopeless. I'm trying to do as much as possible to research new drugs/procedures and such.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,


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Shirley: cyberknife is a form of targeted radiation that has been used very successfully to treat brain mets, or other mets anywhere in the body, including the liver. Find out as much as you can about the details of your dad's situation and ask the oncologists at the message board for cyberknife what they think your dad's options may be. They are very helpful and answer within 24 hours.

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I'm so sorry that your family is having to deal with this :(

Mom had SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery...similar to Cyberknife) on a one inch and a one centimeter tumor met in her brain. Both were extremely successful for well over 10 months (the dr's are still stumped by the original coming back in the same place, actually)...I know Cyberknife has been used for many more places than just the brain. Best of luck to your father and to you. And many prayers and hugs along the way!!!

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Hi Shirley, Sorry to hear about your father but glad you found us. I'm from Mass also, just north of Boston. I have a great doctor and If you need a second opinion or if you or your dad need someone to talk to please PM anytime. Also there is a great place that offers support for both the lung cancer patient and there family called The Wellness Community (In Newton) and it is free. Below is the link. Hope this helps. Prayers fro the best. Rich

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp (The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free)

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Hi Shirlie,

I had stereotact brain surgery to remove 3 lesions. I'm not certain of the sizes, but it was effective. I now have brain MRIs every 3 months. There has been some necrosis (dead cells that happen in some % of cases) but no ill effects at this time. It is radiation - but a one shot targeted radiation. It is far preferable to whole brain radiation, if it is an option.

I also think there should be other options on chemo. Maybe you need to find a center that specializes. I am at Moffitt in FL and it's a wotld apart from wher I started in CA. These guys have trials of all types, offer many different chemos and have the interdepartmental communication that is so valuable (radiation, neuro oncology and thoracic oncology). Don't allow a stop with just 2 tries.

Best wishes.


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