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Tarceva/Avastin Clinical Trial


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My husband is in a clinical trial and taking Tarceva 150mg daily plus an infusion of either Avastin or a placebo every 3 weeks. So far he has had no skin rash from the Tarceva. Does this mean it is not working? Has anyone taken Avastin and if so what have been the side effects

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Hi Wendy,

Sorry to hear your family is faced with this lung cancer journey.

I have been treated with Tarceva daily and Avastin every 3 weeks (for 10 months) for the last year.

Every person responds differently to treatments. I don't believe you have to have the rash from Tarceva for it to mean that it is working. I had the rash some weeks, others weeks I didn't have anything.

Avastin is a pretty mild drug for most people with very little side effects. I had a few weird things pop up after 7 months (intermittenant numbness, brain fuzziness, extreme sensitivity to heat/cold, migraines) that cleared up or improved since I was taken off of it.

My cancer responded quickly to these drugs and has put me into remission for a year.

I hope that this drug combination will be the magic your husband needs!

Best wishes,


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For what it's worth, my mom's docs specifically discredited any correlation between the rash and Tarceva's effectiveness. My mom has been on it since October 2005 and the rash has come and gone. She continues to be NED (scans tomorrow, actually, but we're all feeling very confident!) She never had AVastin so I can't speak to that aspect of your husband's treatment. Good luck to you!

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Hi Wendy,

I took Tarceva for 4 months and had a horrible rash, yet it didn't work. My doc. told me that some docs believe that there's a correlation between the severity of the rash and its effectiveness, but that there's no real proof behind it, just look at me. Be happy you don't have the rash, it's just awful.

As for Avastin, I took it with chemo for six cycles and now I take it alone. My results while on the combo were great, significant shrinkage of the cancer in all areas. The side effects I suffer from are pretty minor. I have occasional spontaneous bloody noses, none of which have lasted more than 10 minutes. The side effect I have the most trouble with is my sinuses. They are constantly draining and that has caused a constant sore throat. I am trying a nasal spray, but if that doesn't work I will have to see an ENT doc.

Good luck!


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