Treatment Name: Carboplatin + Etoposide
How does carboplatin + etoposide work?
Each of the chemotherapy medications in carboplatin + etoposide are designed to target and kill rapidly dividing lung cancer cells.
Goals of therapy:
Carboplatin + etoposide is given to shrink tumors and alleviate symptoms of lung cancer but is not commonly given with the goal of cure.
- Carboplatin intravenous (I.V.) infusion over 30 minutes on Day 1
- Etoposide I.V. infusion over 60 minutes on Days 1, 2, and 3
Estimated total infusion time for this treatment:
- Up to three hours for Day 1 of each cycle; as short as two hours for Days 2 and 3 of each cycle
- Infusion times are based on clinical studies, but may vary depending on doctor preference or patient tolerability. Pre-medications and intravenous (I.V.) fluids, such as hydration, may add more time
Carboplatin + etoposide is usually given in an outpatient infusion center, allowing the person to go home afterwards. On occasion, it may be given in the hospital if someone is too sick.
Carboplatin + etoposide is repeated every 21 or 28 days. This is known as one Cycle. Each cycle may be repeated until the regimen no longer works or until unacceptable side effects occur. Duration of therapy depends upon response, tolerability, and number of cycles prescribed.
Click here for the common carboplatin + etoposide starting doses.
In a multi-drug regimen, each chemotherapy medication has unique side effects. When these medicines are given together, drug-related side effects reported in clinical studies give the best estimate of what to expect. In clinical studies, the most commonly reported side effects of carboplatin + etoposide are shown here:
Approximately 8% of patients discontinue treatment due to side effects.
How often is carboplatin + etoposide monitoring needed?
Labs (blood tests) may be checked before each treatment. Labs often include: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), plus any others your doctor may order.
How often is imaging needed?
Imaging may be checked before treatment, during treatment if there are concerns for disease progression or side effects, or at the end of treatment to assess response. Imaging may include: X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scans, or positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
How might blood test results/imaging affect carboplatin + etoposide treatment?
Depending upon the results, your doctor may advise to continue carboplatin + etoposide as planned, reduce the dose of future treatments, delay the next dose until the side effect goes away, or switch to an alternative therapy.
- Carboplatin hypersensitivity reaction can be severe. This reaction is most common around the 8th or 9th cycle, but can happen after any dose. Some institutions may use "desensitization protocols" to allow a person to keep receiving carboplatin after they have had a reaction. Desensitization is used if someone is receiving a good response from carboplatin, or if few other chemotherapy options are available
- Patients and their caregivers should be counseled to recognize the signs and symptoms of chemotherapy drug reactions and reports them immediately, even after they have left the clinic
- In some instances, if your white blood cells drop too low this is known as "neutropenia"...you may need to receive filgrastim (Neupogen®) or pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®) after chemotherapy to stimulate production of white blood cells and avoid periods of neutropenia
- A pharmacist should ALWAYS review your medication list to ensure that drug interactions are prevented or managed appropriately
- Clinical trials may exist for NSCLC. Ask your doctor if any studies are currently enrolling in your area. If not, go to clinicaltrials.gov to search for other centers offering study medications
Patient Assistance & Co-payment Coverage
Patients under the age of 65 years, or those with private insurance plans:
If you have insurance and are looking for patient assistance or copay assistance for Carboplatin + Etoposide, we have provided links that may help.
Visit our Patient Assistance page and click the links to various patient assistance programs for help paying for Carboplatin + Etoposide. Depending upon your income, they may be able to help cover the cost of:
For Branded medications (may be available for generic medications too), check with the manufacturer to determine if a co-pay card is offered and if it could reduce your monthly copay.
- If you are uninsured, check with the manufacturer to determine if you are eligible to receive medication at no cost.
Medicare and Medicaid patients (Patients 65 years or older):
The clinic providing treatment will likely pre-authorize medications and immune therapies such as Carboplatin + Etoposide and are the best source to help you understand drug cost.
- Ask to speak with a patient assistance technician or financial counselor at the clinic or hospital administering this therapy.
What is Emotional Wellness?
Emotional wellness is having a positive outlook balanced with a realistic understanding of current life events. This requires both an awareness and acceptance of your emotions. It is with this knowledge that you can develop a plan to take the necessary actions to positively impact your life.
Emotional wellness uses an ongoing process to continually reflect on the stressors of life in a constructive manner to move forward and create happiness.
Because emotional wellness is deeply connected with physical, social, and spiritual wellness, pursuing it often becomes particularly difficult in times of major illness. Despite this difficulty, working toward emotional wellness has been connected to improved treatment outcomes and a higher likelihood of achieving goals of therapy.
Learn more about pursuing emotional wellness while receiving treatment with Carboplatin + Etoposide