My husband was diagnosed in Jan. 2005 with NSCLC, state 3B/4. He received four infusions of taxol and carboplatin concurrently with Tarceva. The Tarceva is working (he has the mutation), and his cancer had diminished by 50% based upon the CT scan taken after the second infusion He continues with the Tarceva and will have a second CT scan this coming week. He feels very well. He had a very bad rash from the Tarceva initially, so bad that he had to take an oral antibiotic. The rash was on his face, chest, and back with many bad pimples on his nose. The rash is a lot better now. It has appeared at all different places on his body - moving around. His face is not pimply anymore, but somewhat rashy and red.
Somebody asked, why Tarceva so soon? Why not, if it works? Tarceva was approved by the FDA for cases in which other treatments had first failed. Its use has now been pushed forward (off label) to be a first line of treatment along with chemo -- by doctors who are on the cutting edge. That was the way it worked with Herceptin for breast cancer - first approved for metastatic breast cancer and now used as first line.