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Gemzar for Lung Cancer

lynnrhsu
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi,
My mother has lung cancer (BAC). She was on Irresa, then Tarceva. She went thr 1st cycle chemo with Alimta 3 weeks ago but her 24-hour urine clarance test did not pass so the Dr said to stop using Alimta and consider to switch to Gemzar. She had surgery in Nov 2003. She is doing well except some fatique.
Does anyone out there have experience with chemo drug Gemzar (single drug)? If you know any
new drug for lung cancer, clinical trial, etc, can you
share? Appreciate very much...

Lynn

Bunis's picture
Bunis
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi Lynn
There are so many wonderful sites out there that will help you decide what is best for your mom. One that has helped us with my husbands lung cancer is www.blochcancer.org Mr Bloch (H and R Block) the tax preparer he was diognoised years and years ago and has done all the researching for us. They have free for the asking 4 small books on fighting cancer. You can also go to www.cancer.gov, or 1800-4-CANCER and ask for a PDQ for the type, stage of your moms cancer and they will send you free, an up to date state of the art treatment printout for your treatments.

Hope this is helpful to your and your mother. Your in my prayers.

scungileen
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi,
My dad was recently switched to Gemzar. When he was first diagnosed in January with a malignant pleural effusion he was started on Carboplatin and Abraxene. Abraxene is a very aggressive treatment for patients with breast cancer. It was working great with the carbo, but then my dad developed neuropathy from the carboplatin. His doctor then switched him to Gemzar. Gemzar, again, is recommended for people with breast cancer. My dad's oncologist feels that the lung and breast are in close proximity and these drugs are showing promising results for breast cancer. Although Genzar is not as strong as the carboplatins and the Abraxene, it is also considered to be an excellent drug. I'll tell you this much, although my father's hair is growing back with this drug and he isn't as sick as he was on the other stuff, he is still battling stomach ailments and he has thrown up twice with this drug. We're convinced it is strong, but perhaps a little less strong than the one he began with. We can't say for sure how much progress he has made with this drug, but in a short while he will take another pet scan and that will give us an idea of how good this drug is. My dad's oncologist is very aggressive, so we believe he wouldn't put him on something that wasn't going to do the job.

Best of luck and let me know how your mother is feeling on the Gemzar. As we speak, my dad is suffering from vomiting and chills (today he received the drug). Next week is his week off and we hope he'll have a chance to regroup before he starts again.

gdpawel's picture
gdpawel
Posts: 538
Joined: May 2001

Gemzar + Platinum can be good for cancer patients with lung cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, or some other cancers. But it is not good for all cancer patients. That is why patients, physicians, insurance carriers, and the FDA have all been calling for the discovery of predictive tests that allow for rational and cost-effective use of conventional chemotherapy or the new targeted drugs. Most patients are treated not with a targeted therapy drug alone but rather with a combination of chemotherapy drugs.

Laboratory screening of samples from a patient's tumor can help select the appropriate treatment to administer, avoiding ineffective drugs and sparing patients the side effects normally associated with these agents. Under this approach, scientists study how an individual's cancerous cells respond to several drugs. Doctors have learned that even when the disease is the same type, different patients' tumors respond differently to chemotherapeutic drugs. More and more physicians and patients are turning to individualized therapies to treat cancers. Without individualized testing, it's difficult to determine which drugs are best for patients who don't respond to standard therapies.

For more information about a predictive test, google or yahoo: "The EGFRx (TM) assay"

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