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Avastin and stage iv nsclc

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

I am new to this site and glad I found it. My 58 year old sister was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC with mets to the bone last December. Five tumors in all, two on the right lobe and three on the ribs. She just completed 12 rounds of chemo and the tumors have not shrunk. The last three chemo treatments her oncologist added Avastin. Yesterday she had anothe CT Scan and the tumors have not shrunk. The Avastin will continue through August every three weeks but the doc said no more chemo. He advised her it was terminal. (my sister has never asked him how long she has and he has never offered).

I and another sister live across the country from where our sister lives but we stay in touch often by phone and we were out to see her in March.

My question at the moment is does anyone have any info on how long or what the norm survival time is for someone on Avastin? I keep searching the internet continually and read everything I can get my hands on but sometimes the info is just not enough. I would appreciate hearing from others who have had any real experience with where my sisters condition is now.

And thank you for this website. I really need others viewpoints as it is difficult to get info from my sister with the cancer.

Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2008

I am stage iv of cups (unknown primary), and they are now treating it like stage iv nsclc. The last drug did nothing and the tumors doubled and spread. Cancers vary and mine grows very fast. Still contained in my lungs, they gave me max 6 months if I do nothing.

I started a new drug with the treatment goal to contain the cancer by either maintaining the tumor size or to shrink it and to extend life. For me, there is still some good quality of life, so this works for now. At this stage, the right drug is the one that works to maintain or shrink the tumor. When one drug stops working, you go on to another. The drug I take is Tarceva. The average time it works is 6 months with some people 2 years, then on to the next drug, or not.

My Dr's have mentioned Avastin to use in combination with other drugs. That's probably the next drug I try when this one stops working. Google it: "Avastin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells by blocking the formation and growth of new blood vessels in the tumor which slows their growth."

Your sister, the tumors did not shrink. Did they grow? Is she in pain? Does she have good insurance? (The late stage drugs are not cheap.) Hope this helps. These are just tough times.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

Thank you for your reply. No the tumors did not grow but yes she has been in pain. I think mainly from the chemo though. Now that that is completed she may feel a bit better. The chemo made her very ill with all sorts of side affects and she sleeps about 17-18 hours a day. She was also hospitalized for three days because her blood preasure is quite high and she developed an infection when her blood counts were very low. Fortunately she has great insurance. I have spoken with her oncologists nurse who told me that the Avastin is around $8500 a treatment and you have to get an authorization for it every time it is used.

Cancer certainly is an eye opener for all concerned. I wish you strength and courage on your journey.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2008

My Husband has stage IV Lung Cancer and Prostate Cancer, he takes AVASTIN and NAVELBINE. I will be happy to share what he is on for herbs also...we chose intergrated therapy and he was given less than 6 mnths to live, he is now stable and a survivor of 16 mnths this June.

Feel free to ask me any questions.

Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2008

I was diagnosed in May- adenocarcinoma of the lung which spread to the adrenol gland. I just finished 2 weeks of radiation to shrink the lung mass so I can breathe. I had my 1st chemo session, Carboplatin, Paclitaxel,Avastin along with some oral prednisone. I haven't asked how long- that's an educated guess. I did ask what the long term goal is and it's to hopefully get the cancer under control. There are all kinds of statistics on the web. The doctor will take a new set of scans after the 3rd chemo (I receive it once every 3 weeks). I will be really disappointed of there isn't any improvement.
He did tell me there is a new oral medication that is being introduced in the near future that has proven to be beneficial. I wish you, your family and your sister well.

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