Chemo treatment for 83 year old mom

Can anyone tell me if they or a loved one has gone through standard chemotherapy for NON-SMALL CELL SQUAMOUS STAGE IV LUNG CANCER while in their 80's? Also, if anyone knows of a web site to go to for this info?

Edited June 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

Report post

8 replies. Join the discussion

This is a good place to ask questions. is another helpful website.

What type of cancer do your mother have?

Look up autowoman on this website.
Her mother is 83 and current treatment is carboplatin/alimta. This is a standard treatment for andenocarcinoma.

Here is some information on chemo treatments.


Report post

Shane, Thanks for your response. I will indeed look at those web sites. She has NSCLC Stage IV. Lobectomy last august, she chose no chemo. at that time.

Report post

If I recall correctly, I think I've seen a little research suggesting chemo is just as useful in the elderly as in others, but there is a clearly higher risk of serious complications (incl. a very small chance of death from those) so you must be very careful to watch out for any signs of those.

Don't forget to consider testing for a driving mutation, which might make her eligible for a mutation-targeted drug that is usually effective against the driving mutation it is designed for.

Can you be specific about what kind of NSCLC it is? Adenocarcinoma? Squamous? something else? (NSCLC = a category, not a type, and the odds of having a useful driving mutation differ based on type.)

Best hopes,

Report post

Hi All,
I am a 92 and a half year old who has so far done well after 18 Alimta (alone 800 mg or however they are measured) injections at 4 week intervals. I think the important thing with old aged persons is their level of health. My doc described me as "vital'.

Report post

That is simply awesome!

Report post

My mom is doing great with the Altima and carboplatin and she will be 83 in one month. She is super healthy and a fighter. I call her the energizer bunny because she is constantly moving even after chemo. She has more energy than me! Folly....I am amazed by you!

Report post

I forgot to specify. The cancer is, Non- Small Cell Squamous Lung Cancer. stage IV. mass on adrenal gland with malignant lymph node, and malignant lymph node on the tracea.

Thank you all for your experiences and knowledge.

Report post

Squamous is sometimes (but rarely) driven by a well-known usually-druggable driving-mutation like EGFR (Tarceva is the drug for that) or very rarely ALK (Xalkori for that) or maybe even ROS1 (another that can usually be treated with Xalkori, but which has never been found&confirmed in squamous before, but there's always a 1st time). Your doctors can test for each of those.

Early research is underway to find other common driving mutation-targeted drugs for squamous. See: ed-fluid-on-the-lungs/?reply_sort=asc#cmnt_2863999

It seems too early to put much faith into the effectiveness of the drugs in those experimental trials, but it does offer hope that additional life-extending treatment might eventually be found for some squamous-type cancers that are primarily driven by a mutation for which researchers might find a suitable drug. FRGR and DDR2 might be the most promising of those.

(The data behind that link comes from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston which seems to be leading the way to finding treatments for driving mutations in lung cancer. They found mine and had a drug trial for me.)

Best hopes,

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders