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Chemo drug Alimta

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi all. I am a caregiver for my mom. She has NSCLC with mets to the brain. One tumor in the right lung and one in the middle of her cerebellum in her brain. She has gone through all of the radiation she can have to her lung and had chemo once a week throughout all of her radiation treatments. She has also had stereotactic radiation to the brain as well. Now she gets a 3 week break and will have chemo once a month with double doses for 4 months. They will be using a chemo drug call Alimta. Has anyone heard of this drug or has had it with chemo? It will either be with cisplatin or carboplatin, I am not sure which.

Happy Easter to everybody!!!

Deb

UKLady's picture
UKLady
Posts: 85
Joined: Jan 2011

hello

my husband had Carboplatin and Alimta combination for 4 sessions followed by three weekly Alimta. Alimta had less side effects and hair grew during this time. Hope this helps

Lyndsey

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks Lyndsey. My mom will also have it 4 times. Hope it works! Did it work for your husband?

Deb

jejohn
Posts: 48
Joined: Nov 2010

I had carbo, alitma, and avastin for 6 cycles and then alitma and avastin for 2 more. The side effects were not that bad, and I did not lose my hair!! It shrunk the tumor, erased 2 small tumors in my brain, and it did not spread while I was on it. Unfortunately, my cancer has now spread to several tiny spots. I wish my dr. would have left me on the carbo, but what do I know?? Am now on taxotere and avastin, but dr. said I may go back to carbo another time. Everyone is different, and I have read posts from people that carbo worked for a long time for them. Not sure I helped or hurt with my comments, but that is my experience. I wish yall the best!!

UKLady's picture
UKLady
Posts: 85
Joined: Jan 2011

Everyone is different of course, what stage is her dx if I may ask,It helps the group to see where you are in the dx .you can see where Steve is using my profile but knowing he had a very late dx, well many doctors missed his cancer -"meaning it's meant to inform you, nothing else. Steve is currently doing great and we have chosen the lifestyle choice of hospice, it will make more sense if you read my profile page. alimta seems to have had few symptoms for Steve now stopped because we had other priorities and that was tumor sitting on a nerve near spine. hair growth was good with Alimta.our priority was the pain so chemo although important was second to pain reduction for us.

Hope we are all helping, we shall become your second family so welcome, there is a caregiver board and chat if you feel like it. Browse it all and see what feels best. Steve and his mother are both lung stage IV with mets and quite different and that is what makes us unique

Peace and best wishes to you

Lyndsey

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

My mom is stage IV. She has a tumor in her right lung and one in her brain in the middle of her cerebellum, right behind the brain stem. So far throughout this whole ordeal she has been in no pain. But with the treatments she has been exhausted and very low energy. She was using a walker, but now does not. She seems to be doing very well so far. But apparently the first treatments she has had didn't do a good enough job. I assume that is why they are using the Alimta. She has had all the radiation one can have on the lung and has had stereotactic radiation to the brain. She will be getting another round of CT scans in a couple of weeks to see if the tumors have shrunk anymore. I appreciate all of your comments and love to meet new people on here. I have been to the caregivers section and have met a lot of great people in the chatroom.

Keep the faith and don't forget to breath!!!
Deb

Tricia10
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2011

Hi Deb
I have stage 1V nsclc for about 8 mos. Had brain surgery in Nov. Then went on carbo/taxol for lung & lymph nodes along with 5 days a wk rads. Also had gamma knife rad to head. After a small break my onc put me on Alimta. I did 3 treatments and stopped cause it was giving me terrible headaches and I was terribly fatigued constantly. I,m getting another PET scan this week and may start Tarceva. any suggestions re. This drug?
Incidentally, I live alone and have not stopped working; just cut back a bit due to fatigue.
I try to stay really positive and pray a lot - for everyone with this terrible disease.
This is my first post and today is my birthday -
Your mom is lucky to have you.

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you for your kind words tricia and happy birthday!!! My mom will be starting second round of chemo next week with the alimta. She had a CT scan on her brain yesterday, so hopefully we will find out sometime this week about how that tumor is doing. I am really glad that you posted on here. Have you tried the chat room yet? Everybody on there are so welcoming and will listen wholeheartedly to anything you have to say. Do you have family or friends close that are helping you through your ordeal? I hope you do. If you ever need to vent or just chat about nothing in particular send me an email or I am also on facebook if you are on there as well. I am under Debbie Geyer Hayes. I do hope you keep posting on here. It helps me tremendously to physically type out how I feel for some reason. I love typing and I feel I get my point across better if I do, lol. I hope your PET scan comes back clean as a whistle!!! Have a great birthday!!!

Deb

p.s. what part of the world are you in?

ViewSonic
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2010

My wife (30yrs old) has been on Alimta only for 2 cycles now (every 3 weeks). Not really sure how effective it is working so far, she's not due for scans until after the third cycle. She has been fatigue for 2 - 3 days after treatment. Her condition has improve a little, she was hospitalized 2 months ago; and I fear that we were losing her at that time, but she kept the fight and is still with us. She was wheel chair bound when she left the hospital, which was at the end of March, and she's slowly walking around on her own now but only for a short distance. She was originally eligible for the Crizotinib clinical trial (she's ALK positive), but was randomized to the chemo arm. They took her off the trial before she could even start. Her doctor is attempting to try for 'compassionate use' with the manufacturers of Crizotinib since she is no longer eligible for any of the trials.

My wife is very sensitive to medications, she was given Carbo/Taxol in addition to having radiation on her spine while in the hospital and she didn't take that well, thus the switch to Alimta when she left the hospital. However even on Alimta, she stills experience nausea, constipation, and severe fatigue. Everyone responds different to chemo, but for whatever reasons my wife has all the side effects despite the fact that Alimta is supposed to be one of the better tolerated chemos. I've read a recent article that says patients that are ALK+ have responded really well to Alimta, I hope this will be true for my wife.Because if Alimta doesn't work and she can't get Crizotinib, I am not sure her body can take any of the other chemos.

Hoping for the best...

Tricia10
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2011

Thanks for replying, Deb. I had a good birthday: an elderly neighbor who lost his wife to lung cancer 18 years ago drove me to the Coast for the day; we stopped for a great lunch. I just find it soothing to be around water. I grew up on the ocean & have always tried to be close to it. I now live in Northern California. I work about 3 days a week, but find that I get fatigued so easily, even after stopping Alimta.
I have a daughter & son in Oregon; my daughter is also named Deb. My son is going to school there so it's hard for him to get away. Debra isn't working,& has been down a couple of times to spend a short amount of time with me, but doesn't want to leave her partner to come stay with me for any length of time. I understand......
Where are you and your mom located.

mikebaker's picture
mikebaker
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2011

I've just had one complete cycle with Alimta and Cisplatin. Side effects not too bad: nausea and vomiting on days 4-6 otherwise not much apart from some fatigue. I'm on a 3 week cycle and for most o fthe time I have been able to work normally and take exercise (cycling for a couple of hours, for example). No hair loss yet - but it's only been one treatment. Next one starts in a few days.

higbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2012

July 16 2012
I have just recd second infusion of this combination. Like your mom I am stage 4 lung cancer with brain mets. Had SRS about 5 weeks ago and will get MRI this week to see results. Chemo treatments had no side effects except fatigue . I keep thinking that this business has no cure so why am I doing it ..... Too complicated . Have meeting with oncologist tomorrow and will get CT scan in about 3 weeks to see what is happening to my lung. I think it is hard to be a caregiver . Good for you .

Dawn50
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband was on Alimta and it had to be stopped early because of symptoms. But each person reacts differently to each chemotherapy drug. Keep the faith.

higbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2012

What were his symptoms ? Aside from general malaise I was just tired.
Thanks
Is your husband on something else now
Thanks Dawn

Dawn50
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Higbie, He started having severe pain in his right side and a growing knot to the right of his spine. Thankfully that turned out to be nothing serious (suspect a pulled muscle?) but it did push them to stop the Alimta and do a PET scan which showed the cancer was spreading. They put him on Gemzar. He has completed two cycles of that and did the CT scan on the 10th which showed he may be developing a plueral effusion. They continued the Gemzar and will further investigate the possible plueral effusion in August but he's also been having a lot of headaches lately and his head hasn't been checked for 13 months! He talked to them today and they agreed to check it during the next round of tests in August after two more rounds of Gemzar.

higbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Dawn : sorry about the results of PET scan . I will have my first scan later this month to see what is happening to the lung cancer. It will have been 3 months since first CT scan. Had a MRI of brain yesterday and will get results this friday . Had my second infusion of Carbo/Alimta 2 days ago and feel pretty awful today .
What is there to say Dawn ? Good luck and God Bless you and your husband .

Dawn50
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2011

Remember to step away from here, your research, etc. Take time to not think about your cancer. It will make you crazy after awhile!I know from experience. Your cancer is ... well, just that, it's YOURS. It isn't going to be the same as my husband's, or anyone else's. You aren't going to have the same reactions to treatments as "everyone" else. Some people have very good success with one treatment and others on the same treament may have no success.

Best advice I can offer is: Just enjoy being alive, your family, and friends. Do those things you have said "some day" to - today is that day; as we don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Take care.

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