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Forum Name: Lung Cancer

Question: Tarceva and small cell lung cancer


 walterjaeckle - Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:46 am

I would like to know if the new breakthrough lung cancer medicine by hoffmann la roche brandname TARCEVA can also successfully be used in small cell lung cancer or only in non-small cell carcinoma? this new medicine was just approved in all of europe on the 21st of september. I would appreciate a your input.
Thank you.
 alex.hardcastle - Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:23 am

Tarceva (erlotinib) was recently approved by the FDA as a therapy for non-small cell lung cancer, but is not approved for small cell lung cancer. There are a variety of options for small cell patients, depending on the "stage" of the disease. Knowing more about the history, diagnosis date, clinical findings, etc., would be helpful in offering you further suggestions.

The most important thing to remember is that your own oncologist is your best resource. You should never hesitate to ask her or him any question whatsoever. If you do not understand the answer, ask your doctor to take a moment to further explain matters until you have a good grasp of what you're being told.

Best wishes for your success in treatment!
 walterjaeckle - Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:24 am

Thank you for the reply. The original question I posted to you was by a son for his mother. I am always very sceptical of what doctors prescribe. My mother has been diagnosed with a large tumor in her lung last year. she was successfully treated with chemo and radiation. and the tumor in the lung disappeared.

Then the cancer has spread to the brain with two small tumors which caused her dizziness. The tumors were radiated 11 times at 10 minutes over 10 weeks.

Her health has declined tremendously since her last treatment and she sleeps most of the time and is no longer able to care for herself. Of course the arrival of the new medicine tarceva raises some hopes for her getting better.

Is there a possibility to try the new drug tarceva even if no data has been researched or published for small cell.? I could get the medicine from a friend . I am pretty sure her oncologist doctor would not agree as she is extremly conservative in her approach including not having any room of suggestion or support for any type of alternative treatment.

What do you think? My mom is 68 and has always been very healthy till last year. Yes, unfortunately she was a smoker till about 3 years ago.
thanks for your input

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