Alimta break - 1291077

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jjkk
Alimta break - 1291077

My elderly mother with underlying peripheral neuropathy with stage 3 b, egfr positive adeno ca is on her 6 th cycle of reduced dose pemetrexed after she acquired resistance to tarceva and is getting worsening peripheral neuropathy symptoms, what is the risk of taking a break from the chemo? Risk of cancer progression? Risk it won't work again after the break? And if takes a break, how long would be safe amount of time to be off?
Thanks

JimC
Hi jjkk,

Hi jjkk,

It's not unusual for patients to take treatment breaks to allow time for troublesome side effects to abate. Breaks of a few weeks are common, often without any sign of progression in the interim. There is some risk of progression, but it can't really be quantified, just as it's impossible to say how long you can interrupt treatment without significant progression. But Dr. West likes to call the cancer battle a marathon rather than a sprint, and you try to get the maximum benefit from each line of therapy. With that in mind, if your mother continues without a break and the side effects become intolerable, she may need to switch to a different therapy, or take a treatment break. Changing treatments always bears the risk that the new treatment will not be effective, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a break from Alimta, during which time we would hope that the neuropathy subsides (unfortunately, it doesn't always do so) then resume Alimta, seeking to get the maximum benefit from it.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>