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Scans back - Iressa will begin ......


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Well, since I'm not posting on the Good News board --- then you alll must already know......... :cry:

My mom's CT scan came back showing that there are three "masses" of cancer in her body. The first mass is in the lung, and the two other masses are in her lymph nodes directly behind her sternum area. The tumor in her lung has shrunken drastically, but the tumors in her lymph node area have grown.

After this discovery the onc. decided to stop the current carbo-taxotere cocktail she was on, and wants to start her on Iressa tomorrow. I'm very confused by this prescription --- thought maybe they would try a different chemo cocktail or something. I am waiting to hear more from my mom this evening --- she is currently in the hospital having a blood transfusion to boost her very low hemoglobin count. Does this sound right? I just don't know -- I wish, I was with my family right now and could speak to the oncologist myself.

Next CT Scan is scheduled in a month ..... Here we go again :cry:

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Guest Piermarie

Not sure if this will help or not. My mom is stage 4 with mets to liver, bone and brain. She started with carbo/taxol - didn't work, taxotere - didn't work, gemzar-her lung ca slightly smaller but liver ca grew. So, for the last three weeks, she has been taking Iressa. The dr. has said that she'll do this for 2 months and then we'll do another catscan. If there is no change or new growth, then we'll go back to the chemo infusions and try something else. I have not seen my mom since the Iressa has started only spoken to her on the phone. She lives with me but has gone to see her mother and sisters in Quebec and is returning this weekend. Not sure if it's my imagination or not, but she's been sounding stronger than ever on the phone. She had been losing weight and becoming weak and very tired before she left. So, the Iressa may not be a bad thing for your mom to try. My mom's onc. says there are at least 8 more drugs he can use and that there was a new one coming in November that might be ready for use, although he didn't give me the name of it.

Hang in there and I know how hard it is to go through this especially if you aren't right there to speak with the dr. yourself. Maybe you should try calling the dr's office and see if there is a possibility that he could phone you to discuss your mother's treatment and address your concerns.

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Kristy - my wife has been on Iressa for 3 weeks - the onc has had her on it as well as carbo+taxotere (1st cycle completed last Thursday)

Deb has mets to adrenal glands, neck lymph nodes, brain, etc. - the onc says the Iressa may slow or stop mets as well as tumor growth...

The other thing he did was send a pathology of her brain tumor to Baylor for testing (P53, EGFR, TS, etc.) - I am not sure what all this info means yet except generally it appears to indicate a predictive response to Iressa, resistance to Cisplatin (Carbo) etc.

Deb has not been in for a scan yet to see how she is responding - one difference we have noted is that they give her Taxotere every week for 3 weeks, the carboplatin only the first week. The taxotere doses are smaller, but in aggregate result in a larger dose over the 3 weeks.

Keep the faith,


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My Mom started Iressa right after radiation treatments because her Oncologist was worried about her low hemoglobin and didn't want to start chemo right away. The Iressa did shrink the primary tumor considerably. After a month, the oncologist felt like she could handle a round of Carboplatin/Taxol administered in the same way as Bob described. He has now started alternating two months on Iressa, one month with chemo. She is doing very well right now-we are hoping for a complete response. I think that her Dr. put it very well when he said that his job was part science and part art. Every patient is different-it's finding what works. I would question the use of Iressa concurrent with chemo however-the data does not support any additional benefit. I will pray that the Iressa works as well for your Mom as it has for mine.


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I beleive Iressa is "approved" thru the FDA as the only 3rd line treatment for NSLC. My father recently "failed" after a round of carbo/gemzar (he's also post-radiation and carbo/taxol tx which did help). The residents and a few of the onc. mds said Iressa was the only next step (and usually last step)...however, taxotere is listed as a 2nd line tx for NSLC and I and his oncologist agreed its worth a shot. So that's where we are at right now....I happen to be a RN which has helped our situation immensely...but please, please, research everything yourself....and find an oncologist you trust and beleive in. Someone will always tell you something different...look until you feel comfortable with the tx decisions.

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