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Pancreas Cancer

Tarceva was posted 12/29/2013 10:47 am by Lyn
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Tarceva is likely most useful if you have done genetic testing on your tumor showing that you have 'wild type' (i.e. normal) k-ras gene in your tumor. Studies with other cancers (primary lung cancer) have shown Tarceva to be quite effective in those tumors, but only if the k-ras gene is normal. It is a little complicated when you get into these biologic 'chemo' drugs, and most unfortunately do not work well with PC, or at least don't give nearly as much benefit as the more rugged (toxic....) chemos like FOLIRINOX or GTX/GAX.

We did genetic testing on my Mom's tumor and she had a mutation in k-ras.... which most people with pancreatic cancer do.... so the chance of Tarceva helping was probably low. One of our docs suggested trying it anyway but I discouraged my Mom from wasting her time. Her primary oncologist agreed with me. At that time, we didn't have published results on FOLFIRINOX or GTX yet, and Gemcitabine + Tarceva was considered the 'best' treatment. Times have certainly changed....

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
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