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Stopping Tarceva while NED?


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So Suki's onc has stopped her Tarceva for no other reason than she has been on it for 2 years and they

'have no data' for patients on it longer than that. I asked the question on onctalk but didn't get a response (or I don't know how to find it! :lol: ). Has anyone else heard of this? We're seeing the doc for her 6-month check next week so I will ask him, too, but I wondered whether anyone else has heard of this. She's been NED since her surgery in June 2005 and Tarceva is the only drug she's recieved.

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I logged into Onctalk to see if I could find the response for you, but couldn't find your post. Did you use the same screen name as here?

Since Dr. West always seems to respond quickly, I am wondering if your post didn't go through. As of 12/13 he has a message up about mailing errors someone was getting and provided an alternate address: West@cancergrace.org.

I think he is the best person to answer your question, so I'd love to see you get it to him. I'd try again.


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I seem to remember a discussion on OncTalk about that several months ago. As I recall, there was no clear data pro or con, but Dr. West thought it made sense to back off the Tarceva before the cancer has become resistant to it -- save it for when it's definitely needed. There was a technical discussion about a particular gene or factor or process or something...

If this discussion doesn't show up when doing a search for tarceva, it might have been attached to one of his "Posts" (which are listed in the "Subject Archives" and "Monthly Archives" sections). I believe the OncTalk search feature currently covers the "Q&A/Discussion Forums" only, not the Subject Archives and Monthly Archives posts.

A Google search can be configured to limit the results to a specific site, for example:

site:onctalk.com tarceva

and this DOES cover the posts in the archives.

When I get some free time later today I'll see what I can come up with. A couple of years down the road I might be asking the same question (hopefully :) ).



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I know with my dad the onc wants to wait to put him on Tarceva for when he really needs it.

As for my mom, she started it but the onc felt side effects were too severe and she stopped. Like Suki, she was on it when NED to help keep her there. He nver mentioned how long she would have been kept on it. I do know he said there was not much data on whether it makes an impact on those NED.

Hope the baby is well :)

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I hope you let us know what they decide to do with your mom after her doc appt.

Thanks Ned for posting the old writing from Dr. West. I have been on Tarceva for 22 months, and was also on Iressa 8 months.

So far, My doc is keeping me on Tarceva until the side effects get to severe or progression.

I wish only continued good health to Suki,


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Wendy, they've actually already stopped the Tarceva. her last Rx finished in Sept. and they told her not to refill. So this week we'll get to ask more questions, but she's already off it - which may be why I feel a little squirrely-er than usual going into this appointment.

Thanks, everyone, for responses. In a nutshell, Dr. West said the concept behind stopping Tarceva is to avoid having the cancer become resistant to it. I guess, in theory, if she has growth they could start her on it again. She has had no sign of disease since her first post-surgery scan in 2005 (surgery in June, scan in Sept.) so we're essentially talking about proving a negative here.

Ack. My head hurts. LOL

I will keep you all posted, for sure.

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you have to remember that tarceva hasn't been on the market for very long, i think it was approved in 2004. so there is still a lot that isn't known about it, unfortunately. there are a lof of people looking at various things with it, but a lot of unanswered questions so far. though i'm sure that doesn't help with the anxiety you are feeling. not sure how to get rid of that, but i sure wish we all could find a way to ease the anxiety. i hope you are feeling better after hearing from dr. west. best of luck and i'll keep you all in my prayers.

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