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Stage IIIb Adenocarcinoma - 3rd time on chemo in 2 years

hanerhouse
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

Hello....I'm a 44 year old female with Adenocarinoma of the lung....never smoked. I'm in the middle of chemo for the 3rd time in 2 years. I was diagnosed in May 04 with Malignant Pleural effusion...stage IIIb. It was in operable, and localized to the 3rd lobe of my right lung. They did the talc pleurodesis but it didn't work 100% leaving a leak. After completing chemo in November 2004, I went to MD Anderson for a second opinion. They diagnosed the same, but put a denver catheter in and I had that to drain for over 12 months. I had it removed and it healed up on its own. 4 months ago I had a large pocket of fluid build up in the same area where the tube had been...and it opened up on it's own. That's when I began chemo again....same regimen...Taxol/Carbo/Avastin. My recent ct didn't show any improvement, but it hadn't gotten any worse. I'm very confused about what to do. My oncologist said that no progression in lung cancer is good, but it's getting harder and harder to keep taking this strong dose of chemo. Anyone else out there have a similar experience?

frances3211
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2007

Same dx in aug 2006 with severe pleural effus w/thoracensis x 3 before chemo. Also had Carbo/Taxol/Avastin. Still on Avastin and stable. Small amt of pleural effusion. Have you started Tarceva? Sounds like this is helpful.

hanerhouse
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

No, I haven't started any second line drugs...that's what's confusing me. My oncologist keeps giving me the same treatment. I would think it would be time for something different. Are you on Tarceva? Thanks for your comments

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi hanerhouse,

You've been on Taxol/Carbo/Avastin for 2 years off and on for the third time now. Each time, the tumor in the right lobe and the effusion didn't improve by any measure, did I get that right? Between the 3 chemo periods, were the breaks scheduled for your body to recover somewhat? It wasn't for remission I take it.

How large is the tumor? It seems a small tumor may be the reason I can think of such that your oncologist would settle for the same regiment in keeping your cancer stable.

Perhaps your oncologist doesn't want to change the protocol to expose you to a combination which may allow the cancer cells to grow. If that were the case, I'd ask to add Tarceva to the combo to see if the addition might work, while leaving the original combo in place to keep you stable at the very least.

Have you considered supplementing conventional treatments with complementary therapy with herbs and diet? Outside of antioxidant vitamins (which have counters the oxidation processes of chemo), it doesn't hurt.

Good luck to you and best wishes.

frances3211
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2007

I am on a study using Avastin and +/- Tarceva. I have determined that I am getting a sugar pill since I have none of the known side effects, but still no progression of disease. I have a blood clot in the port area (complicated). I have heard a lot of good things about Tarceva and will request that I be dropped from the study and get the Tarceva if there is any progression. Worth a try. I am glad to know you have gotten at least a few years out of the chemo. Gives me some hope.

grant
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2001

Did the Dr.tell you why it was inoperable?I also was diagnosis with Stage 111bAdenocarcinoma.It was in my upper lobe,actually I had two tumors.I had a pneumonectomy.I then had chemo and radation daily (Same Day)for 8 weeks with no days off.I can only say keep searching because you alone know your body.Questions,question question always keep asking.

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