Topic: Erlotinib?

My father-in-law was just diagnosed with Cholangiocarcenoma. Has anyone ever heard of Erlotinib? I was so thankful for your website!

Thank you!

Re: Erlotinib?

Hi !  My husband is on erlotinib (common name Tarceva) in his case it is given the tablet once a day. He is doing pretty well on it. He also gets gemzar by infusion once a week. The worst side effect he is getting that is a result of the Tarceva is a rash. Not anything to difficult to deal with, mostly face and scalp. The doc gave him some acne type meds for his face and he uses a shampoo called T-gel that helps his scalp.
My husband is on his second round of gemzar after a two-week break, but he stayed on the tarceva through the break. So far he has had no tumor growth!
I hope this info helps you.                           
                                                      Bob's Wife

Re: Erlotinib?

Hi Bob's wife,

If you do a search on Tarceva you will see that there are many patients using it now, or patients who have used it in the past.  This may help you.  There is also a link on the chemo worksheet, that will give you a link to Tarceva so you can get some additional information


Re: Erlotinib?

My mother started Tarceva (Erlotinib) 3 weeks ago. She takes 150 mg in the morning. I wake her at 7 am to take it along with a pill to prevent nausea and one to prevent acid reflux. She then goes back to sleep until I wake her for breakfast. We found this easier because it has to be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. Since eating is so difficult already, taking it after breakfast stole precious hours when she could be eating something. So this way is better for her.

They warned us about the terrible face rash or acne that would probably develop. They said it takes about 8 days before it starts. Well, so far, Mom doesn't have that at all. She's perfectly fine in that respect. But the nausea and vomiting worsened some. That could be because the chemo was pulled after not being successful. In any case, we just increased the anti-nausea meds and that stopped the vomiting.

My brother's doctor told him that she has an 80 year old patient who has been taking Tarceva for a year and it has extended her life. If not for Tarceva, she would have passed away long ago. So, I don't know that it works for everyone, but it seems to work for many people based on what I've researched and been told by doctors, our own and published medical articles. I hope it works for Mom but we just won't know yet.  My understanding is that it stops the cancer from spreading, and can even shrink some tumors. Some people have had this happen. So that's what we're hoping for too.

My best to you and your father-in-law,

5 (edited by fossil52 Mon, 23 Apr 2007 16:19:54)

Re: Erlotinib?

Erlotonib is a drug that is designed to block tumor cell growth by targetting a protein in your body called human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor, or EGFR. EGFR is a protein on the surface of some cancer cells which help the cancer cells to survive and grow.

There is a Phase 2 Trial of Bevacizumab ( and Erlotinib for patients with advanced biliary cancer that is being conducted by the Mayo Clinic and funded by the NCI ( NCI Protocol #7024, P2C Study #MC044G) currently in progress.

Re: Erlotinib?

How interesting!! My father was just at his first visit at Mayo- met with several specialists. I asked about Tarceva and the oncologist said that there is no research behind this medication and that the side effects are basically horrible. Please let me know more!!