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Roll Call-Effectiveness of Chemo Drugs


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Hi everyone. I would be grateful for all to ring in , late stage, early stage...on the following questions:

Type of LC: Squamous or Non Squamous Cell

Types of Chemo drugs you or loved one have had and your perceived effectiveness, and what stage of lc you were at, at the time

Please also include country you live in if not already obvious.

I will start:

Type of LC: Squamous Cell

Types of Chemo Drugs:

First line treatment-etoposide and cisplatin. Not really sure re effectiveness as believe radiation was bigger ticket item. But my lungs and lymph nodes were NED after 1st line treatment. Stage 3 a or b at the time.

Second line treatment: Alimta. Not sure yet...am seriously questioning it..am wanting to possibly consider other options...reason for my post. U[dated July 30...stopping alimta after 3 treatments. New study suggests gemazr more effective for squamous cell patients. Will start that on August 11.

Thanks everyone. I think this chain might be really useful to many of us.

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Type of LC: NSCLC Squamous Cell Stage IV

Types of Chemo drugs: First line treatment with Carboplatin & Paclitaxel. After 5 cycles lung tumor shrunk by close to half and liver tumor by 3/4. I would say it had been pretty effective. Started radiation 5/28. 5 more sessions to go. Next scan will be the end of next week to see the effectivness.

Livin in the USA.


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Good idea, Sandra. Here goes:

Type of LC: Moderately-differentiated adenocarcinoma, stage IIIb (non-squamous NSCLC).

Types of drugs:

First line: Taxol/Carboplatin/Avastin 4 months. Some reduction in tumor size (but not enough to qualify as a "response"), locuated pleural effusion reduced, pneumothorax still present, energy and stamina somewhat better. No evidence of mets.

Maintenance: Avastin 8 months. Tumor reduced further, then began to grow toward end of the period, but still smaller than at diagnosis. Loculated pleural effusion further reduced, pneumothorax "resolved," energy and stamina better. No evidence of mets.

Second line: Tarceva since October 2007 (9 months so far). Tumor stable, loculated pleural effusion still small and stable, energy and stamina even better. No evidence of mets as of May scan. At the moment I'm discounting some lower back pain which comes and goes depending on activity (especially standing) and which I've had to a degree for many years.

So far my cancer matches my personality -- no big highs or lows, sort of plugging along without much drama.



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Here I go:

Parma Hts, Ohio

Type of LC: NSCLC Adenocarcinoma- Stage IV at diagnosis 9/29/06. Mets to rt rib (which is now doubtful), rt hip and spine. Tumors in both lungs plus lymph nodes affected. :x:x:x

Chemos: 5 cycles of Carbo/Taxol (changed to Taxotere after 2nd cycle) and Avastin

1 cycle of Taxol/Avastin only due to Carbo reaction

CAT scan after above showed Remarkable shrinkage!!

9 cycles of Avastin only with Zometa every other chemo. Bone mets resolved enough that I was taken off Zometa. After 9th cycle, I showed some progression but tumors not as big as upon dx.

Just had 14th cycle yesterday of Alimta only. Scans to date (just had one three weeks ago) have been stable!!! No new mets.

That takes me up to 29 chemos so far. Just told someone on here I had 30, sorry, told a lie!!!

Thats my story!!! Good luck, everyone!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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Toronto, Ontario

IIIB Squamous Cell

first line:

-12 days radiation, reduced tumor 50%

-4 rounds navelbine/cisplatin; reduced a little bit, not the other 50% we were hoping for, did 5th round of chemo and then he opted not to do the 6th round.

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Here goes...

Non-small Cell, poorly differentiated, IIIA. Surgery ( I think this is what did it), carboplatin and etopiside. After chemo, had 37 daily radiation treatments. That was finished in August of 2003. Been NED ever since. Yes, I have been one of the lucky ones. My doctors released me a year and 1/2 ago. I pray for all of us daily.


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Type - Adenocarcinoma - Stage IIIa March 2004

Treatment: Removed left lung + 21 positive nodes

Radiation - 30 days to chest area

1st Chemo cocktail Cisplatin/VP16-daily for 6 days - 3 cycles

Taxatere - 2 cycles - No evidence of disease

2nd chemo - Iressa - maintenance trial - 9 months - NED

Mets to spine/pelvis January 2006

Radiation to spine/pelvis daily X 10 dayss

3rd chemo - Avastin - ev 3 weeks X 1 yr, Tarceva Daily X 1 yr, Zometa X 6weeks X 1yr

4th round Tarceva daily X 1.5 yrs

NED after 6 weeks of treatment

New met to spine and thyroid January 2008

5th round Avastin - ev 3 weeks, Tarceva Daily January to current

Partial response



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Date Dx.d 7/21/1995

LC Type: NSCLC Poorly Differentiated Adenocinoma - Stage IIIA-IIIB

Had 3.4cm tumor and three cancerous lymph nodes on esophagus.

7/25/1995 Had Left Lung Removed along with several lymph nodes.

9/9/95 Started Chemo (VP-16/Cisplatin) 3 days on, 3 weeks off, a total of 4 sessions, & Radiation (36 treatments) to the left chest area.

Am now dealing with 5 nodules and heart disease. They have told me my heart problems are because of the radiation and the chemo treatments I had 13 years ago. :roll: But it bought me 13 years! :wink:

It's another great day to be alive!

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Date Diagnosed 7/3/07

LC type: non-small cell, adenocarcinoma, stage IV, tumors in both lungs, mets to spine, rib, shoulder, hip

Treatment: first line- Cisplatin, taxotere, Avastin 6 rounds -considerable shrinkage, not much change in bones

second line - Tarceva/Avastin - much improvement in bones, lungs stable 7 months

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Type of LC: NSCLC. Sub-type: Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Stage: IIIB. Tumor Grade: Poorly differentiated (5 cm. RLL plus enlarged mediastinal sub-carina and right hilar lymph nodes). Dx: 01/07

Initial Treatment: Concurrent radiation (completed 30 of 33 tx) and chemotherapy: cisplatin & etoposide (15 of 15 completed) followed by docetaxel (1 of 3 completed). Effectiveness: 50% reduction in tumor; 75% in mediastinal lymph nodes; and 100% in right hilar. Tx: 02/07-05/07; remained stable through 09/07 (and possibly until 11/07).

Second Line (Maintenance): Tarceva 01/08-04/08. Initiated due to tumor growth (from 2-3 cm.) and lymph node growth and spread per 12/07 CT scan (including newly enlarged lymph nodes in neck (adj. to windpipe). Restaged to IVA. By 04/08 tumor had grown to 4 cm. per CT scan. Effectiveness: zero.

Third Line (Maintenance): Alimta 05/08-06/08. Completed 2 of 3 infusions. 2 respiratory episodes following 1st infusion; and 1 following 2nd (radiation pneumonitis). By 06/08 tumor had grown to 6 cm. and mediastianal and right hilar lymph nodes growing rapidly per CT scan. Effectiveness: zero (after 2nd infusion, study published showing that Alimta does not help squamous cell).

07/08 No further potentially effective chemos remain. Opted not to try ineffective chemos due to side effects (Quality of Life vs. Buying Time. Quality of Life won)

Residence: Boulder, CO USA

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To say heavy involvement both lungs, mediastinum, L-supraclavicular nodes, barely gives the full picture at Dx. See PET scan photo below.

Stage IV - NSCLC - Adenocarcinoma (most common NSCLC), poorly differentiated Dx'd: 3-28-05

8 - 21 day cycles Carboplatin/Taxol -- worked good cancer 1/2 gone, Carbo reaction. Next!

12 - 21 day cycles Gemzar/Taxotere (Gemzar days one & eight) - good - all mets gone, primary ULL tumor reduced in size, but one new tumor grew in left lung. Taxotere reaction. Next!

15 days radiation to one lung tumor - got rid of new tumor. Next!

3 mos Tarceva - didn't work - significant progression in both lungs/bones/mediastinum. Next!

19 weekly Navelbine infusions (Zometa added to protect from more bone mets) - Miraculous -- serious tumor reduction, bone mets gone - but cancer became resistant. Next!

5 - 21 day cycles Alimta - stable, but ruined his already messed up breathing til the end of his life, so stopped Alimta. Next!

2 - 21 day cycles Gemzar (days one and eight) -- we had no clue by this point - couldn't lay to have scans due to SOB, but nothing improved breathing-wise. One more try -- next!

2 - 21 day cycles Irinotecan -- no clue, but we were on a wing and a prayer by this point. Lungs were filling with A-fib issues from tumor wrapped around pulmonary artery, pleural effusion, infection, loculation, and cancer, so probably didn't do anything for the cancer itself. X-ray showed one walnut size open working area in R-lung on the day he passed. Total lung failure and cardio spiral cessation.

...and a partridge in a pear tree.

Also had severe pleural effusion issues requiring 23 thoracentesis procedures.

***Not a candidate for Avastin due to ongoing bloody coughing.

I know some of the old-timers have seen this PET, so bear with me for the newer folks. All dark black in chest area is the cancer. Still surprises me to this day that he survived 2 1/2 years. We were so lucky, good quality of life until we slammed into the Alimta wall.


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Mom, DX IIIA Nov 2003


11/03---Chemo (Gemzaer/Carbo)



(Followed by brain anyerusm found on routine brainMRI in 2005 and triple bypass in 2005)

Currently NED

Anaheim Hills, California

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Type - Adenocarcinoma stage 2A

Treatment: Upper left lobe removed

Chemo: Cisplatin/Navelbine 4 cycles..12 weeks total

Current Treatment: 2 year clinical trial with Tarceva...purpose is to see if Tarceva can prevent reoccourence....1yr. down ..1yr. to go....was the chemo effective?....will the Tarceva work as they hope it will? Remains to be seen.Ask me again in 10yrs. and I'll tell ya then. So far all is NED....hopefully all is working as it was supposed to.


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I realize you're asking only for those who've done chemo/rad to check in but I figured I'd add my 2 cents for comparison.

I was diagnosed December 2007 with Stage 4 NSCLC adenocarcinoma with mets to lymph nodes and pelvis. I felt fine -- only symptom was PEs and have been taking 2 shots/day of Lovenox for that. I opted to do no chemo or rad.

July 2008: Lung tumors (3) termed 'indolent' -- no change there, so far. Lymph nodes may be growing and spreading but no symptoms. Bone mets growing and spreading -- new mets to pubic bone and to L3 vertebra. Bone mets now causing some pain and have been warned that stress fractures are highly possible so I've agreed to do 15 sessions of radiation to the pelvis and L3. (The discomfort is handle-able with Ibuprofen -- it's the fracture threat that made me change my mind.)

My performance level is still judged to be 0 or 1; no cough or breathing problems; blood O2 still high 90s. And I'm still happily smoking. :-) (I will smoke as long as it's pleasurable, which it still is.) No colds, no nausea, no constipation, no fatigue, no weight loss, nothing but a few achy bones.

Just thought some might be curious as to one possible scenario with no chemo, rad, or surgery.

Ellen in PA

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Here's mine:

dx Stage IV poorly differentiated NSCLC (non-squamous) in right lung, possible rib, pleural effusion.

1st line: carbo/taxol/avastin 6 rounds - complete response, NED for 2 scans

a new spot pops up - zap it with radiation - success.

Next PET shows increased activity in right lung so on to Tarceva - works for 9 months to keep me stable.

Back to carbo/taxol/avastin AGAIN (it had been 2 years). Works to shrink and stabilize the two spots in the right lung. When the next PET shows SUV numbers up it's on to:

alimta, which I am currently on. Oh, and I am taken off the avastin permanently when I develop a pulmonary embolism so now get to do daily injections of blood thinner oh joy.

That's it in a nutshell, from Jacksonville, Florida.


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Diagnosed December 2005 with NSCLC Adenocarcinoma Stage IV with mets to Liver and Spine.

1st chemo: Carbo/Taxol/Avastin - 6 cylces, then just Avastin - 9 cycles. Was NED for 7 months with this regimen.

2nd chemo: Started trial with Alimta and Cetuximab - 2 cycles, taken off due to disease progression.

3rd chemo: Taxotere - 14 cycles, some shrinkage of tumors, CT's remained stable - then showed growth in the liver.

4th chemo: Currently on Gemzar - just finished my 7th cycle and my scans are stable!

I have also been getting IV Vitamin C infusions weekly since diagnosis. I feel that this has helped me remain strong and definitely combats the side effects of chemo. The doctors that I go to for the infusions think that Vitamin C works synergistically with the chemo to combat the cancer. It has been working for me!

God Bless,


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Confirmed Cancer by Needle Biopsy 1-10-2008

Treatment started 2/25/08 - Surgery May 16, 2008

NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma Stage 3B

Chemo and Radiation Treatments together

First 5 treatments were just on Mondays.

Week 1: Carboplatin (paraplatin) and Pacitaxel (taxol) - Allergic reaction to Taxol.

Week 2: Carbo and Taxotere - OK

Week 3: None done as in Hospital.

Week 4: Carbo and Taxotere - Allergic reaction to Taxotere

Week 5: Carbo and Taxotere - Allergic reaction to Taxotere

Week 6: VP-16 chemo drug for 3 days in row Mon, Tues & Wed.

I have no idea how effective chemo was. End results for my husband were good and the job got done to get to surgery. I think the radiation had a really big part from what we understand. They were going to repeat the VP-16 in couple weeks and oncologist just stopped it after seeing the test results.

I think the total radiation treatments were 37. They added a few at the end that we didn't realize they were going to do. They changed the angle some. Those he even was taken to when he was inpatient at hospital.

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Guest hearrean

Diagnosed with NSCLC (Large Cell w/Neuroendocrine features), Stage 3B.

Treated with (Irinotecan & Cisplatin), 1 infusion per week for 4 weeks & then second round was same (2) drugs for 7 weeks. Also had 38 radiation treatments during the 2nd round.

Chemo treatments significantly reduced the tumor + nodes & then the radiation killed the remaining. Currently NED.

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I have bumped this post in the hopes that many more of you will reply...early stagers as well please. And I have updated my original post with the latest change in my chemo drug. I think this chain could be really useful to others so thanks in advance for posting.


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  • 2 weeks later...

See signature - think staging eventually ended up 3a/b with lymph node involvement

called a halt to radiation after 27 of 30 planned - burned esophagus

chemo was carboplatin/taxol - 6 rounds 1 x weekly - very few issues - counts stayed great, very little nausea, energy good

live in AZ, USA

Holler if any other info I can share.....

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