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Chemo Options Question


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I was going to post this for Dr. West, but can't for the life of me figure out how to post a question on the website provided!!!

My mom's journey with chemo has not been a short one. The thing we do know are the early ones (Gemzar, Carbo) seemed to work. Most recently, Alimta obviously didn't work at all.

Also, the cancerous lobe of her lung she had removed was tested and it was determined (somehow) that it would NOT have been responsive to Tarceva, which the doctor had been planning to give her after surgery, but then substituted the Alimta.

My question is ... since they've tested this cancer, and they know Alimta and Tarceva aren't going to work, doesn't that give them a clearer idea of what MIGHT work?

I know we can ask the doctor this when we go later in the week, but I was just wondering if anyone else here has had a similar experience.

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"tiredmom959" I was going to post this for Dr. West, but can't for the life of me figure out how to post a question on the website provided!!!

That does sound like a good question for Dr. West, and there's a good chance he will answer before you see your own onc later this week. Be sure to give him most of the background you have in your LCSC profile.

First, to post a question on onctalk.com you need to register and login. It's just as simple as registering here on lchelp.org -- in fact, I use the same username there as here. Once you're logged in, click the "Q&A/Discussion Forums" in the left column, and when the forums page opens you should see "Welcome, !" a couple of inches from the top.

Pick a subject area that seems appropriate (don't agonize over this -- he will move it elsewhere if necessary), click on that line ("Chemo Queries" is one possibility), and scroll to the bottom of that page to "New Topic in this Forum." Fill in the "Topic title" line with a short, descriptive name for the forum thread you're starting. Enter your question in the "Post" window (a scroll bar will appear if it's too long to fit in the existing box, which it probably will be), then click the "Send Post" button way at the bottom below the formatting codes and the notes to not paste from Microsoft Word.

That's it! Your post will appear immediately, and in a few minutes you can refresh the opening page and see your post listed as a new post in the left column. If you're not seeing some of the items I described, send me a PM and we'll try to figure out what's happening.



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For what it is worth, my oncologist told me that he does not give the test that they say will determine if a cancer will react to Tarceva. He told me that he was afraid that people that it may help would not get a chance to see if it works. He just goes ahead and gives it to patients. In my case he gave it along with the first chemo. This is also not the way that some say to use it. It did work for me and I thank God each day. Maybe there a chance of a second opinion on the Tarceva.

Stay positive, :)


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Thanks for the help. Your walk-through helped her get the question posted, and I was able to give my perspective. I'll have to give another look at the forum and see if there are ways to display the pages/folders so that it's as user-friendly as possible.

You may notice that we're trying at OncTalk to work out ways to bold the topics on the forum (and I hope the folder names as well) that have new content since the last time someone logged in. That's based on the good example here and your advice.

I'll try to keep tweaking OncTalk to make it so people don't need to work too hard to participate.

-Dr. West

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Thank you all for your help and information. I'm actually very comforted by the suggestion that Tarceva may work for my mom. It seems to work so well for some, and I was disappointed when the oncologist made the comment that it likely wouldn't work well for her (although I don't know that he meant he'd never consider it at some point down the road).

That oncologist retired last month, we meet his replacement tomorrow, so I'm glad to be able to have this information prior to that appointment.

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