Alimta 2nd round after Tarceva...

My 72 yr old mother in law was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in Feb. She had 4 rounds of Alimta/Carboplatin with Avastin. She responded so well (no more lung tumor growth and normal liver function) that her oncologist recommended not having her last 2 treatments and starting Tarceva (although she does not have the EGFR mutation).

Tarceva failed miserably and after 6 weeks or so on it, her liver function is much worse than when she was diagnosed. She has come off Tarceva, but it seems we've figured this out too late. She's very weak now.

Just wondering if anyone has had this experience and how was the response to the 2nd round of Alimta. Is it worth putting her body through it. I've heard that subsequent rounds of chemo are less and less effective.

Should we encourage her to fight or will this just be more misery for her?

Edited June 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

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How long has she been off the Tarceva? I also went though a period where I felt very weak and it seemed like all the bad side effects hit me at once. My doctor took me off for 4 days and then reduced the dosage and I felt so much better. Hope this helps.

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My onc plans Alimta as maintenance post chemo and says I won't even take a break from it.He feels more effective that way so I wouldn't lose hope.There are more alternatives.Do check with doc.Your dad may need some med to help build him up,aso.He's not alone.AndiB

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I did six rounds carbo/avastin/altima - now I am on just avastin/altima - just had chemo #20. Always have hope - don't give up

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did you have your biopsy genetically tested? When I began my 2nd line of treatment, after 6mths of remission, I had the test done, Response Genetics in CA, and it came back saying that my cancer would most likely respond to Alimta (not the drug they had me do in my 1st line of treatment, w/ a dif onc). Needless to say I love my new Onc, and doing well on Alimta 1yr now. very mild side effects, though 1st dose of it I felt crummy. They gave me extra fluids via IV and steroids for energy. Helped tons.
good luck and dont give up. I talked with 4 drs when it came to changing my chemo treatments, and just that made me feel more in charge of what was best for me.

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I am Stage IV NSCLC and took Tarceva for 8 mos - hated the side effects. Even though this is supposed to be second line agent and aimed at those with EGFR factor - Oncologist recommended because I was still very active, working fulltime, female, was supposed to be better tolerated and less disruptive than other regimens. Once CT showed progression, it was discontinued and I was then given 6 rounds of Carboplatin and Alimta, which I tolerated well. Have since been on single agent Alimta every 4 wks for over 1.5 yrs with shrinkage at the beginning and no progression now. Tolerating well; some fatigue and GI symptoms but still able to do whatever I want. Hope this is helpful and wishing you the best.

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