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My mother has stage 4 NSCLC (adenocarcinoma)


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Hi everyone,

just trying to navigate this crazy cancer journey as best as possible with my mother who has stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lung (PD expression > 60%) with two brain Mets. We have just had radiotherapy and now will start keytruda plus two chemotherapy drugs on a 3!week cycle.

we were just looking for advice and  experience regarding side effects of this treatment and how to make sure you feel the best you possibly can during treatment and thought this would be the beat place to ask! 

Thanks in advance!


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Hi, Jem, and welcome!  Sorry for your mom's diagnosis, but we have several members here with advanced cancers, who are doing VERY well with similar kinds of treatments.  I'm afraid I can't share any personal experience with chemo, radiation, or immunotherapy (I was lucky enough to require only surgery--so far), but our other members with experience will be along shortly.  Just wanted to welcome you--glad you found us!

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Welcome here.

Is the expression PD-1 or PD-L1 > 60%? Is your mom having daily radiation (say 30 treatments per day) or did she have precision radiation (two or three treatments in total)? Was the radiation for her brain mets?  Answering these allows us insight into her treatment.

As I understand it, your mom will have conventional chemotherapy and Keytruda in combination chemotherapy.  Do you know the names of the conventional chemotherapy drugs? Again, this will help us assist with ideas for dealing with side effects.  Here are some ideas to help your mom prepare for infused chemotherapy.

Keytruda is a very effective immunotherapy drug, especially when used in combination with conventional chemotherapy drugs. So you should experience good results.  One caution however: immunotherapy often causes tumors to swell due to inflammation resulting from the drug attacking cancer cells.  Often this swelling shows up in mid-treatment scans so the mid-treatment scan might show tumor expansion.  This is common but end of treatment scans often show tumors eliminated.  We hope for this result from your mother's treatment. Here is some information on immunotherapy drugs and how they work.

Stay the course.


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For my mom's recurrence is NSCLC, adenocarcinoma, she took Keytruda and Alimta+Carbo for 6 sessions and then proceeded to Keytruda only. Her cancer responded well. Side effects with chemo was similar to her first chemo treatments, with the exception of no loss of hair - flu like symptoms for about 10 days, lack of energy, severe acid reflux. Keytruda alone has less severe side effects for most people.

You can check out my mom's journey if you'd like. You cam find it under the NSCLC forum, it is titled "Finding hope in my Mom's Cancer Journey". I would normally include a link, but my phone isn't wanting too, sorry.

Take care


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