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wife with adenocarcinoma in lung (diagnosed 15 months ago)


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[also posted as an intro on another site, hi again if you're on both forums...]

Have been going it alone, as a couple, for about a year now, and want to make sure I'm getting connected to as many resources as possible for my wife. She was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in lung (stage IV, unknown primary -- they searched all last summer, couldn't find where it came from). She had chemotherapy last August-November, every three weeks, starting with carbo/taxol, shifting to carbo/gemzar for treatments 3-6. (She had an allergic reaction to taxol during the second round.)

Didn't see reduction, but there was no increase or spread. That held until the latest scan. Now it looks like there's some possible spread into the lymph node in the chest next to that lung. We're going to get a biopsy of the lymph node (after a PET scan) and do some genetic testing on it to see whether targeted therapy might be indicated. The onc also wants to do some immunotherapy (Opdivo) in the meantime.

Main question: anyone know other angles or lines of treatment we should be thinking about? And especially, are there any trials out there that we should have on our radar? We're at a well ranked cancer treatment center, and we've been kind of trusting that they know what they're about, but with this latest scary news I want to be a little more proactive about making  sure I've got all the facts straight and can ask good questions and do the most we can for my wife.

Any help or suggestions of good resources is very welcome. Thanks. 

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Hi, Vigilius,

Welcome to LCSC. I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis. This is a great site to connect with other caregivers and survivors.

There is a great deal of promising research going on now in clinical trials focused on people with lung adenocarcinoma. Here is a link with information on treatment options and clinical trials https://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101/types-of-lung-cancer/lung-adenocarcinoma

LUNGevity's Clinical Trial Finder is a great resource to find available clinical trials by type of lung cancer and geographic location. It also provides information and links to the medical centers at which these studies are taking place. Here's the link https://clinicaltrials.lungevity.org/

Please keep us posted and feel free to ask as many questions as you have!

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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Sorry I am late to respond to you post.

Okay, stage IV adenocarcinoma and first line taxol-carboplatin treatment that may have held the fort.  A PET scan to confirm and tumor genetic testing to screen for targeted treatment are next steps.  Second line immunotherapy treatment started while waiting for PET and genetic testing.  That is an aggressive decision and a meritorious one.  It says to me, immunotherapy might work if the tumor does not display markers qualifying for targeted treatment, and if the tumor does display markers, targeted treatment is in reserve.  It does indeed sound like you are associated with a ready for prime time treatment center.

Lauren cited material that explain some of the cancer vocabulary.  I'd read that and here is more on immunotherapy that might be helpful - https://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101/treatment-options/immunotherapy

Asking good questions is the right role and they seem to be bound by PET and biopsy results, and a future scan to assess impact of immunotherapy.  From what you've said, you are on the right course and waiting for results.  Unfortunately, waiting is a universal and incurable lung cancer symptom.

Stay the course.


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