MY FATHER IN LAW 65YRS DETECTED SARCOMATOID CARCINOMA IN RIGHT LUNG.HE WAS A SMOKER FOR 40 YRS.ONCOLOGIST SAY,CHEMOTHERAPY IS NOT POSSIBLE as there is pleural effusion in lung and there is also pericardial effusion in heart.please advise what is the best treatment at this stage.May I have your E mail address so that I could attach the Biopsy,Immunohistochemistry report for reference.

You can attach those via the All Experts question panel.  I've done it myself.  Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung is a rare variant, but tends to have the same degree of response as other non-small cell cancers.  However, with effusions, especially pericardial effusions, the best combinations of drugs cannot be given.  However, if he is in decent shape from a pulmonary standpoint, he should have a pericardiotomy and his pleural effusion should be treated.  Sometimes when this is done, chemotherapy can be given.  Unfortunately, you've described a very far advanced case and it is highly likely that nothing very useful can be achieved, even with everything that can be done.  Sorry.  

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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