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Qualifying Tarceva


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Been trying to read all the posts about tarceva. Father recently had progression after 3 months of carbo/taxol/avastin. Was suggested either give up treatment or gemzar and cisplatin. Unsure of what to do. Hear a lot of people have had success with tarceva,, but onc never mentioned anything about it. Any info on what may be a better option? Dad was a smoker for 30 years and quit 3 years ago.

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Tarceva is a great drug. However everyone is different in response to it. SOme do great and some do not. We have sevearl members here who are doing extrememly well on it and some who are not. It is not a first line treatment. it is usually a second or third also. The primary goal of tarceva is to treat the LC in a fashion similar to that of a chronic disease like Diabetes and manage the cancer more so than cure the cancer. First step is to become a chronic disease. You Live with it rather than die from it. Then make it curable and not chronic. recce is rihg and you may want a more expert opinion than we can offer. We can give you lots of great news and many success stories though to inspire and motivate your Dad and yourself also. We did meet on chat briefly last nite by the way. Welcome to the community..

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Lot's of Tarceva questions today, glad to add my two cents. Col has been on it for about nine months, and been stable. From our standpoint it is a "breeze" compared to the traditional chemo.

Tarceva has been shown in studies to be MOST effective in women, never smokers, and asians. Perhaps a reason the Dr. didn't offer it as an option was because of a history of smoking. That being said, I don't see that as being a reason to not ask the Onco, or at least discuss trying it as an option.

Wish you all the best.

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Tarceva is indeed more likely to generate a response among lifelong nonsmoker, those with adenocarcinoma, and Asians (the gender issue is less clear, as women with lung cancer are more likely to be Asian, have adenocarcinoma, and be nonsmokers).

However, the evidence is also clear that Tarceva provides (on average) a survival benefit for people in every subgroup (even male, non-Asian, smokers with squamous cell). It certainly should be on the table.

Whether it's the best choice right now is something that you and your oncologist need to figure out. Good luck!--neilb

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  • 2 weeks later...

People here have already touched on the main points, but I've written a lot on the subject on the website OncTalk over the last year. The highlights for tarceva are primarily compiled on this list of core concepts for targeted therapies:

http://onctalk.com/category/lung-cancer ... e-effects/

You may find some of this information helpful.

Good luck, and take care.

-Dr. West

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