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Hello everyone. I just stumbled onto this site and it seems like a very helpful place to be. My sister was diagnosed with stage IV nsclc in June. We live 2,000 miles apart and we both are terrified.

She is currently on Tarceva, as well as carboplatin & gemzar. Recently hospitalized for fever and infection (for 2 days) at which time they gave her a new CT scan. We are now awaiting results of this test.

I have so many questions I would like to ask of you all, and hardly know where to start. I would love to hear from anyone who has taken Tarceva and any positive results from this drug. She is having very severe side effects (MAJOR rash) which only seems to subside if her doc takes her off for a week.

I look forward to reading all the informative posts on this site, and will hopefully learn more information on this horrible disease. Sis

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Hi Sis, and welcome to this site. Your sister is on a promising chemo/targeted therapy combo from what I have read. I have seen others write of having the tarceva dose reduced when the rash is bad. The most common dose is 150 mg. It could be reduced to 100 or 50 mg as others have done.

I suppose the fever and infection must be from the carboplatin and/or gemzar. They may reduce her dosage of the chemo too. Hopefully she can recover and continue the same treatment. Setbacks that require hospitalization can be very upsetting, especially when you have a recent diagnosis.

Don M

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Hello Sis and welcome

I am so glad you found this site.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you have. There are so many knowledgeable and helpful people on this site who will be more than willing to help you with advice and answers.

Please have a look around and read the different forums. You might check out the survivors forum and the nsclc one as well. Post your questions and concerns and someone will be along soon to reply!

Let us know how we can help and we will~

Prayers and best wishes.


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Welcome to our family here. Tarceva can be a miracle drug when it works for you. There are many many success stories here - my husband having been one of them. If she is on 150 mg.- she may need the dosage reduced to 100mg-- this is very common with others here. The rash (don't you love how they call it a rash-- that is NOTHING like any rash you've ever seen) will come and go and move. The best thing is to keep it moisturized and or use the antibiotic cream for it. Lots of information on here about rash remedies.

Keep us posted -- and ask all your questions.


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Hi Sis,

I'd like to welcome you to our site. Yes, it is a wonderful place to stumble upon. Hopefully you'll find answers and more.

I'm also a stage IV and hope to be for a very long time. Remember, every day there are new drugs being developed and we know more than ever before. Just try to help your sister stay positive. I know its hard, but as time goes on, she will hopefully feel better.


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Hi Sis,

Sorry you had the need to find our site, but welcome. I have not used Tarceva, but that might be my next regimen. I had a choice of 2 second line and decided on taxotere.

Anyway, good luck. If you have questions, ask - there are a lot of people here who have tried different regimens. And of course, we all respond differently.


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Hi Sis,

Sorry to hear about your sisters struggles.

I have had great results with Tarceva. My cancer had spread to my spine and pelvic bone - but have disappeared after treatment with Tarceva. I am currently taking Tarceva daily, Avastin via IV every 3 weeks and Zometa every 6 weeks (see below).

The rash-pimples are not fun. I found that clindamyacin (prescription) and Cetaphil body soap have helped me cope and clear up the rash. Mine was really terrible for the 1st 3 months and now it seems to come and go.

My dosage has been reduced several times because I was having problems with diaherria from the drug. I have had it reduced from 150mg to 100 mg for a week or two at a time, then it is increased back up to full strength. I also have had the doseage reduced every other day so I would take 150mg on Monday, Tuesday it was 100mg, Wednesday 150mg. etc. I have even taken it everyother day for a week or two. The reductions have helped when I have been feeling rotten.

Best wishes to you both. If I can be of any further help, please let me know.


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Hi Sis,

So sorry that you had to find this site.

My Father was also diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and he had started to take Tarceva after chemo stopped working. Tarceva worked like a miracle for about 8 months. Unfortunately it stopped working. It is definitely worth a shot though - because the high you get when the oncologist tells you that the drug is working is undescribable.

As for the rash, see if the doc can prescribe a cream. I also know that there was a post a while back in regards to washing with a special shampoo that seemed to have alleviated the rash.

Good luck,


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Hi Sis, and welcome

I know the very anxiety you are feeling right now. My Dad was diagnosed July 5th with stage IV NSCLC and the waiting and wondering was terrible. I wish i had some way of taking this feeling and situation away from you.

Hope and positive thought are huge! This board is full of inspiration and stories of survival. Read around and draw strength from those who have walked in both yours and your sisters shoes and are still around to tell about it.

Ignore stats!! I made the mistake of looking around and it scared the heck out of me. I soon learned (mostly form the great folks on this board) that these numbers are out-date, generalised nonsense. They don't mean a thing !

I wish the very best for you, your sister and all of your family.

Holding you in my thoughts and prayers,


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Hi sis, just want to welcome you here. As you can see this is a very caring informative family here.

I persoanlly can not help you with your Traceva question, but I see you got many responses already and will continue to get some from others.

I know how scared you are for your sister. We all have walked in your shoes. It will get easier once she gets more into a routine.

We are here for you 24/7 for support, to vent, ask questions or need prayers.

Maryanne :wink:

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