Expected Tumor Response – Lung Cancer

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer NSCLC Locally Advanced NSCLC Expected Tumor Response – Lung Cancer

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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October 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm  #1293217    


Hi all – My mom was diagnosed with a stage 3 inoperable lung tumor(NSC, Adenocarcinoma), ~6 centimeters. She was able to complete 3 rounds of Carbol/Taxol and a full course of radiation. Chemo was stopped because of side effects and low platelets. Appx 6 weeks after last radiation a CT scan was done that essentially showed the tumor was still the same. Is this a good or bad result? SHouldn’t shrinkage be expected if treatment was working?

And at what point do you start looking at Immunotherapy treatment?



October 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm  #1293224    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi John,

From a previous post Dr. West discusses what he tells his patients about chest radiation, “I tell my patients before they have undergone a follow-up scan to expect there to be very ambiguous findings, so that it doesn’t seem that I’m back-pedaling when we review the scan later. Even then, it is usually a very frustrating time, just because you can’t say what is happening until you see how things are changing or not changing over time. Even patients who end up cured are generally left with residual scarring that is uninterpretable initially — it’s only with prolonged stability that we are reassured. http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=10779.0

Radiation continues to kill cells after treatment is complete even beyond 6 weeks in some cases. To add to the confusion of reading a scan just 6 weeks after, radiation causes changes in the lung as well as inflammation so it will take some time before anyone can say with any certainty weather all cancer is dead in the radiated field.

After curative treatment a watch and wait approach is taken to discover if treatment was successful. There’s no standard schedule for scanning but many or most oncologists scan every 3 months for at least a year then move to 6 months until 5 years post treatment. At the 5 year point it’s very unlikely the cancer will return and yearly scans are done from that point on.

Your mom’s onc may want to continue with a 4th or even 6th cycle of chemo but other than that no other treatment is used unless the cancer returns. If it does show itself again immunotherapy would be an option if she has a high percentage of pd-l1. However since this is a new and growing area that could change.

I hope your mom is done with treatment and she is cured!

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