Any one taking Iressa

Hi ,my name is martin I am 59 yrs old non smoker.I was diagnosed with NSCLC adenocarcinoma 28082015 stage four which had spread to my pelvis and spine .I developed slight pain in my lower back which started to stop me sleeping properly so went to the doctor.I was was sent for xray and a lytic lesion was detected on my vertebrae .I had a ct scan showed 15mm tumor right lung and a biopsy from the nodes near my lung diagnosed the cancer but the biopsy was not sufficient to confirm I had a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). They could not obtain a biopsy from the tumor in my lung or spine(it was to difficult not sure why) but a new test just developed allowed them to confirm I was suitable for targeted drug Iressa from a blood sample.I am being treated at the Christie Manchester and feeling great at the moment with only a skin rash as side effects from Iressa which I have been taking for 35 days at 07122015.I am taking 20 mg slow release morphine tablets every 12 hours for pain from my back.I would be interested to find and track other patients taking Iressa .Many thanks Martin.

5 Replies

  • Hi Martin, Me too on Iressa/Gefitinib. Had a VATS biopsy in January 2014 and when tested proved to be egfr positive. Took full dosage of the drug for 5 months and had loads of side-effects i.e. sickness/diarrhea/rash/boils/ulcers and was reduced to one every other day after the 5 months. Still holding strong and has reduced me from 15 spots to 5 on my lower right lung lobes and primary significantly shrunk. Do so hope the same happens for you. I tend to hang about the Macmillan forum in UK as Iressa is not used in the US very much and there are far more patients on it on that site. Maybe hear from you on there?? All the best Diz xxx

  • Thanks for the reply diz,

    I have now found the

    Lung Cancer Survivors

    Lung cancer survivors support group and discussion community,

    which is answering all my concerns and questions.There is a great thread there from TexanDave. with advised on what to do when Iressa stops working. bitor-blog/

    Cheers Martin.

  • Hi Martin I Was diagnosed in June 2011. With NSC adenocarcinoma .I was 69 very fit and never smoked. And like yourself was EGFR positive.I had no bone involvement but have cancer in my pleural cavity.That is just to paint the picture.

    I was started Iressa 250 MGM in the July and tolerated it for three years and three months.I did have some of the side effects (some worse than the other) but I dealt with each one as they arose.My first CT scan showed quite a lot of shrinkage but thereafter kept it from growing until Oct.2014.

    Being on Iressa and only having to see the oncologist mthly.allowed my husband and me to travel.I took Oramorph, co-codamol etc with me.we visited our sons in South of France and even Australia.Im telling you this in hope that it will help you cope with what is a very scary diagnosis.Try to keep as active and positive as possible.

    One day the Iressa may stop being effective (like mine) but there is always another treatment .

    If that day comes we can discuss any further treatment I have.

    Hope this will give you some optimism Contact me again if you think I can help.

    Take care


  • Hi Martin, Just to say that being in the UK also I am taking Iressa too. Have been on it for 22 months now. It claims to just hold spread but, in my case, has shrunk all my tumours/lymph nodes. I had a VATS procedure and talc pleurodosis at St Georges in Tooting (cos it was in my pleura) and found to have 15cm tumour on my diaphragm and 15 other small tumours. Scan in August showed me down to 5 tumours and they can hardly see the primary one on my diaphragm. SO great news. The side effects got me down with diarrhea and vomiting and boils/ulcers/cold sores etc, so my oncologist at Guildford reduced my dosage to one every other day. Suddenly felt amazing!! Found Balneum cream wonderful for dry skin/spots etc. Good luck with it and if I can answer any queries you may have about it and side effects feel free to message me. My only main problem is that my hair fell out quite badly - sported a Mohican for a while- but is now growing back although rather like having pubic hair on my head (not the best look!!). All the best Diz p.s. you'll find me on the Macmillan forum, where there are a good few of us on Iressa/Gefitinib - one friend on it for over 4 years and still going strong!

  • Hi Martin, I have been taking iressa now since November 2015 and have only a few side effects. Scan in Jan 2016 showed that cancer not visible any longer in my neck lymph nodes and my chest nodes, speckling in left lung not visible and primary tumour in right lung has shrunk. All going in the right direction for now and feeling good.

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