Tarceva and Bone Mets

I did three rounds of Chemo (Taxol, Carbitol, and Avastain). I have a lot of bone mets which have me on crutches and a lot of pain. Bone disease has progressed. So next week I will go on Tarceva. I am hopeful as my biopsy showed my cancer had 3+ response to Tarceva. I am female and never smoked which is the group that Tarceva helps with.

I am wondering how well Tarceva has worked on bone mets. Any one have experience with it? Are you using anything with the Tarceva? My Onc would like to do Tarceva by itself. If my bones were better I wouldn't know I was sick.

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Targeted oral-dose drugs like Tarceva are found to treat the cancer effectively in those that it is helping, and seen as an intergral and necessary part of a patient's cancer care.

Tarceva is one of those drugs that benefits a very few patients a whole lot, is neutral in most, and is bad (i.e. strokes) in a few. A thrust to identify therapy which is microscopically better in clinical trials conducted on a general population, yet no two patients are alike.

It is generally given in addition to existing drugs for the disease. It's difficult to determine which of these drugs are best for patients who don't respond to standard therapies.

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I do not have bone mets, just a tumor in my right lung.(just) I did 24 treatments with Taxol,Carboplatin, and avastin. After my last scan my onc. decided to put me on tarceva. I have been taking Tarceva along with Avastin every other week for almost 2 months. My onc thought that was a very good combination.

Sorry I can't answer about how well it works with the bone mets.

My prayers are with you.


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Ask your oncologist about adding Zometa for the bone mets.

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Tarceva has a 60% response rate for EGFR positive patients, primarily non-smokers. Thus, there is a good chance of a response and you can be optimistic. You have tried chemo so there is little reason to try it again with Tarceva.

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Hi Michelle,
Thanks for your response. I have a small spot upper right lobe of my lung. It shrank a little with the Chemo. But the bone mets are my issue.

I hope the Tarceva works for you. If you only have the one tumor in your lung it seems like you would be Stage 1 and a candidate for surgery? How long have you been battling? I was diagnosed in December '07.

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Hi Lucky,
Thanks for the suggestion. My Onc doesn't like Zometa so I am using Pamidronate (sp?). He says there is less of an issue with the jaw. Maybe I should see if Zometa would work better for me.

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Hi Howian1,
Thanks for your response. I guess plainum based Chemo is not too promising for me. I am using Avastin now and it seems like Altima has worked for a lot of folks. My prognosis is really bad so I am interested in being aggressive. But I am excited about Tarceva. I am so ready to use something that actually helps and start feeling better.

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I am 3b because I had pleural effusion. The chemo took almost all of the fluid away. I wasn't a surgical candidate because of the fluid.
I was diagnosed almost exactly a year ago. I did 24 treatments with Taxol,Carboplatin,Avastin. (at my cancer place they do smaller doses of chemo weekly)
I hope the Tarceva does the trick for you.


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Hi Nichelle,
Thanks for your response. I am counting on Tarceva. I am also starting some radiation to my hip today. I hope between the two fo them to get around a lot better.

I hope your treatments keep going successfully!

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Identifying molecular predisposing mechanisms still does not guarantee that a drug will be effective for an individual patient. Nor can they, for any patient or even large groups of patients, discriminate the potential for clinical activity among different agents of the same class, such as Tarceva, Iressa, and Nexavar.

The growth of lung cancer appears to depend upon a variety of different growth factors. If the growth of the tumor is not entirely dependent on EGFR, an anti-angiogenic therapy directed to that growth factor alone, it may not be effective.

If there are a number of different growth factors with different influences on different tumors, then you must either isolate the predominant growth factor very specifically, or use a variety of anti-angiogenic drugs to combat various methods of tumor growth.

A functional profiling assay can assess the activity of a drug (or combinations of drugs) upon combined effect of all cellular processes, using several metabolic and morphologic endpoints. Other tests, such as those which identify DNA or RNA sequences or expression of individual proteins examine only one component of a much larger, interactive process.

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Hi Cancerstar,

I have stage 4 NSCLC, both lungs, diagnosed 10/06. My oncologist prescribed Tarceva as the first line drug. It has continued to shrink the main tumor and eliminated the others. I never had bone mets, but I have never developed them either. If you are EGFR positive, with a number higher than 60, you have a good chance of being very responsive to this drug. You are also a non smoker. I am not and it still worked for me and I'm 60.

So give it your best shot. I'll be praying for you. Please let us know how you do.

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Hi Chessie,
I have been using Tarceva with Taxoter for six weeks now. My leg is better, but I am still using the crutches. I had a CT Scan yesterday so I hope on Monday to know if Tarceva is working. I am kind of scared. But we have to keep going and dealing with whatever we have.

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