Discussions that mention celebrex

Cancer: Lung board

I've been on Tarceva 150 mg since September 2007 for some lung mets that developed from my squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary. Lung mets are considered part of the non-small cell cancer group...though the cancer did not begin in the lungs..

Beginning the Tarceva at first didn't seem to do much for me and though I had a mild rash in a couple of areas of my face - it went away quickly. I also lost my upper eyelashes - most of them and I noticed more hair coming out in my brush than normal..but not excessive.. After 6 months on Tarceva - the missing eyelashes are the only side effect I have.

In November of 2007 I asked my doctor if we could add Celebrex to my Tarceva treatment as I read it sometimes activates a response in people who normally don't get one on Tarceva alone... After 1 week on the tarceva/celebrex combo I noticed a big difference! Not so much in my rash - but in my breathing. I didn't even know my breathing was effected by the lung nodules until I took the Tarceva/Celebrex combo and could breath so deeply again.

I continued on this combination and had CT scans every 2 months. Each scan showed no tumor growth and incredible tumor cavitation in the nodules.
I also have a large tumor on my left leg/groin area that is a recurrence from the original radical inguinal lymphnode resection. This tumor also did not grow during my time on the combo. Unfortunately, this large tumor also did not shrink on the tarceva so I will be under going radiation treatment to shrink it while remaining onthe Tarceva/Celebrex..

I happened to notice that when I also took vitamin C supplements during the day (1000 mg regular vitamin C) - I would get a better response to the Tarceva/Celebrex combo too. :confused:

A couple of things to note here:

1. I am not an ideal candidate for Tarceva per their criterea. I am a caucasion female, smoker, never had chemo,...etc..
2. Cavitation used to be considered a "poor" prognosis - but now with the newer monoclonal and EGFR receptor meds like Tarceva, cavitation may actually be a sign of progression free and longer survival. Cavitation is now a "good" sign.;)
3. Tarceva alone may not work on some - but combining it with anti-inflammatories like Celebrex may open up treatment possibilities for many more lung cancer patients ...and other cancers too.
4. I'm not sure how the Vitamin C works with the combination but I've tried it enough to know it is a definite factor in response...

The reason I'm writing this is for patient information. I've read so many posts where people give up - or their doctors give up on the Tarceva due to the lack of prescribed response...but they shouldn't! Not everyone must have a terrible facial rash for Tarceva to work! Tarceva alone may not work for some but when adding celebrex (400 to 800 mg per day) it may activate the Tarceva and you may get a great response! You do not have to be an asian female nonsmoker for Tarceva to work as is stated in some studies...

Because smoking lowers your Vitamin C levels - it could be that supplementing with it restores something in your body that helps the tarceva/celebrex work. I'm not sure..it's just speculation..

This has just been my experience but it's something that should be studied or offered to patients who are not getting a good response from Tarceva alone.