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More & More Questions

Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2011

Now that my husband has had his PET Scan, here are the results - and some questions - again!

A brief history - he was dx 1/11 with SCLC-Extensive, went through six rounds of carbo/etop, had a PET Scan 6/11 and it showed of the six tumors, five were gone and one was streaky. Then he had another PET Scan 11/11, and it showed that the tumor came back in his liver. Did 3 rounds of Topotecan, just had another PET Scan, showed the tumor was the same. So now the onc is going to do 3 more rounds of Topotecan. Says that he won't use another chemo drug as he doesn't want to go through them all in case he needs them in the future.

So, my question is, how many chemo drugs can be used on SCLC and how many lines of chemo can be used?

My husband's insurance will not pay for a PET Scan. They only pay for the one at time of diagnosis, and will not pay for monitoring during chemotherapy. He is due for another one in two weeks, and please, please - is there anything else that can be used as an equivalent for a PET Scan? A CAT Scan is not enough.


‹ Pleura of Lung? New Lung Cancer Survivor ›

Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2010

First of all, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with these issues. My wife had similiar issues this past summer. She was originally diagnosed in Nov. of 2009 with sclc - limited. The carbo/etoposide along with radiation put her in remission until January of 2011. A brain met changed all of that. Her rad. used a cyber knife procedure to get rid of the brain met. Like your husband, her insurance company wouldn't pay for any further PET scans. Her rad. and onc. continued with the CT scans (which the insurance would pay for) and subsequently found the tumor had returned to her lungs. The onc. used topotecan with no luck on the tumor. The cancer spread to her lymph nodes as well as her other lung. The onc. suggested taxotere, so this was tried. The brain mets returned with as well. She had WBR along with the addition of a drug called temodar (which had just been approved for sclc). The CT scan in October showed that the cancer was gone in the lungs and the lymph nodes. The mets in her brain had slowed their growth and begun to shrink.

My point in all of this is that you should seek a second opinion if his onc. won't try anything different. The CT scans may not show clearly if the cancer is moving or growing but they show enough. The chemo is a systemic treatment meaning if it is taken for a lung tumor, it would also affect any other tumors growing with the possible exception of the brain due to the blood/brain barrier. The temodar that my wife is taking will cross this barrier and has kept her brain mets stable (at least). If the onc. won't change the chemo now when the topotecan isn't working, then when is a good time to change? Please seek a second opinion quickly so that you won't regret the consequences in the near future.

My prayers are with you!


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