Group for those on Iressa

Has anyone out there, diagnosed at stage 4 EGFR positive treated with Iressa been given surgery, not in a curative way but as a possible way to extend the effectiveness of the drug? The theory being that if you debulk the tumour there is a possibility that Iressa may be more effective for longer. I know that once you are at stage 4 they cannot offer surgery as a curative measure and if it has progressed beyond the lungs and pleura, I also think they may not be able to offer this, but has anyone had surgery to their lungs treated on Iressa with positive affects? Treating our cancer type with this drug is still in it's infancy as far as the NHS goes but it has been used longer in the private sector and their approach is to consider surgery if at all possible as a means of prolonging the effectiveness of Iressa. Obviously consideration for surgery is complex and individualised in the NHS, but has anyone out there had experience of this or do they know anyone that has.

6 Replies

  • Hi Joewarren

    I was diagnosed the NSCLC adencarcimona EGFR positive but had spread to heart, had 500mls pericardial flulid drained. I started Iressa Sept 2012, fully funded here in New Zealand. Its going really well apart from a few niggly side effects which really it could be worse. Surgery was not for me becaused I'm stage 4, Im due to have CT scan 3rd July so fingers crossed the tumors are shrinking. Not sure how long I'll be on Iressa but theres always new targeted drugs being developed. Take Care

  • Thanks for the reply I haven't had any others so I guess it is a resounding no to surgery at stage 4. I have been on IRESSA 12 months now with prescious few side affects. Hope all goes well for your scan. Just had my 3 monthly CT today an as you say new drugs are around the corner


  • Just signed up and want to add my story if it helps. Was dx NSCLC adenocarcinoma Stage 4 as tumours in left lung & right cervical node neck. As no other damage showing on scans, surgeon proposed wedge section to remove lung tumour bulk along with some lymph nodes along collar for better diagnosis. Op successful and followed by 2 rounds chemo (Cisplatin/Permextred) whilst tissue analysed. Proved EGFR positive so started Iressa which effective within few days as neck tumour reducing. Now in 5th month & scans showing reduction & no further outbreaks, as yet. Some mild side effects but feel well and as normal. Hope to be on Iressa for very long time. Hope this useful to you.

  • Thanks for the reply, you don't say which part of the country you are in an from the information I have so far you are the only person EGFR + at stage 4 that had lung surgery for NSCLC which is interesting as we know the use of Iressa is in the early days really, i.e. less than 5 years in the NHS. Hope all continues to go well for you but would be interested to know where you are geographically


  • Hi. I'm in Surrey. Have found these forums very informative & in a way comforting, as there are so many others in the same boat & similar experiences. However most of the time I try to forget I have LC and just get on with living.

  • My wife is also on the same boat. Shes EGFR positive adenosquamous on Iressa for four months already with dramatic response. Her left upper mass of 6.7cm had shrunk to less than ten percent and so has her mediastinal node (1 out of 5) remained. I have contacted a thoracic surgeon in Royal Brompton hospital and he thinks she would benefit from surgery, altho she's stage 4.

    Praying for good outcomes to you all

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