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Babs

Another newbie

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Hello,

I was diagnosed August 2019 with stage IIIa Squamous NSCLC.  I did radiation/chemo, Taxol/carbo and just finished my 8th infusion of Durvalumab.  I thought I had a fairly clear understanding of my diagnosis and treatment plan, however I keep seeing here and there on this website about Biomarker testing?  What is it and who can have it?  Can someone explain?

Also, I’d like to add that I have read so many success stories here that it really gives one hope.  What a great group of folks!!

Thanks,

Babs
 

 

 

 

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Hi Babs. Glad you found us. Here's a link to biomarker testing. Some cancers have specific markers which make the patients candidates for targeted therapy. Given that you are on Durvalumab, a form of immunotherapy, I would presume some testing was done at your diagnosis. One of the more technical/scientific members will chime in soon and share more information. 

Did you have any issues with the taxol/carbo combination? How are you feeling now?

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Babs,

Welcome here!

We share a diagnosis; mine was in 2004 diagnosed with Stage IIIB NSCLC subtype of Squamous cell.  Like you I Taxol and Carboplatin chemotherapy and 30 treatments of fractional radiation that reduced the size of my tumor enough to allow surgery.

Susan pointed you the the link to understand biomarker testing but it is important to understand that lung cancer targeted therapy only apply to a small percentage of those diagnosed with a subtype of adenocarcinoma. Your subtype is Squamous cell and therefore targeted therapy is not applicable. But now  biomarker testing also applies to determining the presence of a PD-L1 biomarker that predicts suitability for immunotherapy. Since you are now taking Durvalumab, your test result was found suitable for immunotherapy treatment.

Most important, targeted therapy and immunotherapy treatments have only emerged within the last 5 years (immunotherapy within the last 2 years). Some are now a first line standard of care replacing conventional chemotherapy (Taxol and Carboplatin as one example). Here is a section on our forum that is dedicated to immunotherapy treatment, and note Durvalumab heads the list. This is the most comprehensive discussion of immunotherapy anywhere on the web. You'll find lots of information on this new treatment in the Durvalumab string.

Again, welcome here. Let us know how your treatment is progressing.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

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Hi Babs.   We share several things in common.   I was diagnosed with Stage 3 B lung cancer in December 1997.  

I had chemo, radiation , surgery to remove my right pupper lobe then more chemo.  I have survived !

We also live in Minnesota.  I live  south of the twin cities.  What a beautiful day it is today.  The sun is shining and

a great taste of warm whether !  We have not seen that for soooooo  long.  

Keep us posted on how you are doing and feel free to ask questions.

 

Donna G

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Thanks for the responses.  You folks are great! 
 

Susan  -  Yes for sure some issues from the Chemo.  Mostly extreme fatigue, etc. I did however end up with the shingles right after my last treatment.  The rash went away but I now have PHN. Postherpetic neuralgia.  Basically some damage to the nerves following the shingles.  I’ve been told it can last months to even over a year.  I am taking Gabapentin to control that.  As far as the immunotherapy sounds like a lot of the same as others here.  Muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, fatigue.  Nothing like the chemo though.

 

Tom -  My tumor has shrunk quite a bit.  Unfortunately I am still not a candidate for surgery.  My tumor is in the mediastinum and has obstructed the Superior Vena Cava.  Even after the shrinkage of the tumor they believe that scar tissue has formed and is still blocking the vein.  The blood has found alternative routes but surgery is just too risky.  I had a CT last Thursday and meet with my onc on Monday.  Hoping for more progress.  Thank you both for the Bio marker info. Sounds like I am on the right track with the Durvalumab then.  
 

Glad I found y’all.

Babs

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Donna,

 

Congrats on your success!  Wow!

I am NW of the cities, Maple Grove.  Our Daughter is in Rosemount so we are south quite often.  

Yes, the weather today is amazing.  Hoping to get to enjoy tomorrow.

Glad I found this website.  It really is very informative and hopeful.

Take care,

Babs

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