Drug targets cancer cells, avoids chemo side effects

John Stack was tipped off that something wasn't right when he started experiencing back pain. He thought it was from an old injury, but it turned out to be much worse.
         
"I ended up going to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with lung cancer. It had spread to my spine," Stack said.
 
After seeing what his late ex-wife went through on chemotherapy, Stack wanted to try a different approach. He became qualified for a daily pill that he takes called Tarceva.
 
Dr. R. Waide Weaver with Florida Cancer Specialists said the drug targets the cancer cells and leaves the good cells alone. It also avoids some of the dreaded side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy like hair loss, low blood counts and nausea.
 
Stack said he did experience a rash with the therapy that eventually went away. Two years after his diagnosis, Stack is now considered in remission, a prognosis he said may have been different without this treatment. 
 
"I had probably less than two years to live,” Stack said.

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