I took my mom for a consult today for a third opinion on treatment options. This onc. was the second to say he would try Tarceva or Olympta ( not sure of the spelling). I have been trying to find information on this drug, but have been unsuccessful so far. Anyone out there familiar with it?

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Could the drug be Alimta? I'm not familiar with it but there are a lot on the board who are.

I have only had tarceva, about 2 years now, and doing great. It is a wonder drug and there are many posts on that as well. It does have some side effects but when it works for you, there's nothing like it.

Good luck and God Bless

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I am sure your doc is talking about Alimta.

Alimta was first approved as a second line therapy for lung cancer a few years ago.

The drugs has done well in a number of studies and has been proven to extend patient's average length of survival.

It is often taken alone, but sometimes in combination iwth other drugs.

I have been on Alimta since March 2008. I take it every three weeks. The side effects are quite tolerable, esp when copmpared to first line treatment (mine was carbo and taxol). Most importantly, my disease has been stable for over a year now.

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I too am on Alimta. It has been by far the easiest chemo I have taken. I get tired but hey who doesn't.

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Both are viable treatments. I have been stable on alimta since February, 07, side effects usually tolerable and treatable.

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I guess it was Almita - I told the doc. that I was familiar with Tarceva, but had only heard Olympta once before and was not familiar with it. I should have learned by now not to assume anything with a doctor - I assumed that if there were another name for it either one would have given that hint - as in " well, it is also known as --------". I know that last night when I would try to google Olympta, Almita kept coming up. Thanks everyone for your answers.

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It's Alimta, not Almita. :-)

Hey, how are you doing?


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Kathy - thanks for the spell check - after I typed it I kept thinking, that's not right - Almita is a street in Houston that ran by the apts. we stayed in!! ((: LOL!
Things continue with the local medical follies. I will send you an update on my IELCAP later on regular email.

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It is Alimta and it's a great chemo for the right type of lung cancer. I have non-small cell carcinoma, subgroup bronchoalveolar carcinoma (BAC) which does not generally metastasize outside of the lung. I have been on several other chemos, a trial with tarceva, and nothing has worked for me like Alimta. I just had a scan after my first 3 treatments of Alimta and found that I am stable for most tumors, but that 2 are actually smaller. So I'm planning on staying on it as long as it works -- and I'm happy to hear from many of you that it's been working for years. YIPPEE!!!

Good luck with your treatments -- tarceva if it's the right one for your lung cancer; alimta if that will work.


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I have non-small cell carcinoma, subgroup bronchoalveolar carcinoma (BAC) which does not generally metastasize outside of the lung. I have been on several other chemos, a trial with tarceva, and nothing has worked for me like Alimta.

May I ask if you are EGFR positive. Response to Tarceva is associated with whether the patient is EGFR positive.

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I have no idea about EGFR. I haven't heard of that. I asked my doctor if there was anything about the tumors that was significant and he said no. I'll write this down and ask again -- can you tell me what EGFR stands for? I'm guessing that since Tarceva didn't work I am not EGFR positive.

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EGFR stands for epidermal growth factor receptor, a gene associated with cancer particulary among non-smokers. Most non-smokers are EGFR positive and most smokers EGFR negative.

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my mom is unfortunately EGFR negative. However she's never a smoker and has healthy lifestyle. Our whole family cannot understand why she has adenocarcinoma which leads her to brain met. Will soon on Alimta+Carbo. Wish this is useful for her.

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Unfortunately lung cancer does not discriminate and it is not entirely unusual for non-smokers to get it... The good news is that all gene types respond to chemo generally, so I hope this works for your mom! Ask about maintenance Alimta or Avastin as well.

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