Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about chemotherapy and your bone marrow:

Chemotherapy—commonly called “chemo”—is a type of cancer treatment that uses strong chemicals to destroy fast growing cells, like cancer cells. The types of chemo you may be receiving for small cell lung cancer are regimens with carboplatin, etoposide, or topotecan.

Chemotherapy works to destroy fast-growing cells, like cancer cells. But there are other types of fast-growing cells in your body that could also be targeted by chemo—normal, healthy cells like those in your bone marrow. This can cause side effects.

Bone marrow makes blood-forming cells, which are the parent cells for other important blood cells. These cells make red and white blood cells that help your body work properly and help protect you from the risk of infection.

While chemo works to destroy cancer cells, it can also damage the blood-forming cells in your bone marrow. This can reduce the amount of white and red cells in your body and cause your blood cell counts to drop too low. Your doctor will let you know if this happens.

Your doctor or nurse will be monitoring your blood cell counts by doing blood work. They will tell you if your blood cell counts have dropped too low.

Neutropenia (noo-troh-PEE-nee-uh) is when your white blood cell count drops too low, putting you at risk for infection from your chemo treatment. Severe neutropenia is a very low white blood cell count.

Anemia (uh-NEE-mee-uh) is when your red blood cell count drops too low, which can make you feel very tired, weak, dizzy, or make breathing more difficult. Severe anemia is a very low red blood cell count.

When your red blood cell counts drop too low, you may experience a fast heartbeat and breathing rate, trouble breathing, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, swelling in the feet and/or hands, a pale coloring of skin, nailbeds, mouth or gums, and extreme tiredness (fatigue).

When your white blood cell counts drop too low, you may experience fever, chills, mouth sores, cough, difficulty breathing, and stomach or rectal pain.

Myeloprotection (my-low-proh-TEK-shun) refers to the proactive protection of the bone marrow, which may help keep your white and red blood cell counts from dropping too low.

FAQs about COSELA™

COSELA is a medicine given before chemotherapy (on each day you get chemo) to help reduce the occurrence of low blood cell counts caused by damage to bone marrow during chemo.

While chemo is working to destroy cancer cells, COSELA helps to keep chemo from damaging the blood-forming cells in your bone marrow. This can help keep your white and red blood cell counts from dropping too low, which is what can cause neutropenia and anemia.

COSELA is given by intravenous (IV) infusion on the same day as your chemo, within 4 hours before your chemo treatment.

In clinical trials, it was found that COSELA helped reduce the number of patients who experienced severe neutropenia during the study and the number of days of severe neutropenia during the first cycle of chemo in the study. And fewer people taking COSELA had severe anemia.

In clinical trials, the most common side effects that people experienced were fatigue; low levels of calcium, potassium, or phosphate in your blood; high levels of a liver enzyme; headache; infection in the lungs (pneumonia); rash; reactions related to the infusion; swelling in the legs or arms; stomach pain; blood clots; and a high blood sugar level. These are not all the side effects of COSELA.

COSELA can help protect the blood forming cells and lower your risk of bone marrow suppression, a harmful side effect of chemo. This may help you stay on track with your scheduled treatment plan.

The possible serious side effects of COSELA are reactions at the site of the injection; serious allergic reactions; and lung problems (pneumonitis or interstitial lung disease). COSELA could also harm an unborn baby, so be sure to talk to your doctor about using effective birth control. Learn more about the possible serious side effects in the Important Safety Information.

FAQs about paying for COSELA

COSELA financial support may be available through our G1 to One™ Patient Support Program. Download our brochure here for more information.

Restrictions apply. Your healthcare provider can help you determine your eligibility.

Other FAQs

Extensive-stage refers to cancer that has spread throughout the lung or to other parts of the body.

Everyone processes their diagnosis differently. Some people find learning about their diagnosis gives them a sense of control. You can find many helpful resources online that may be useful as you go through treatment.

It may be helpful to do an online search for virtual communities and organizations that can provide you with additional information about your type of disease, upcoming clinical trials, and even connect you with other people who have gone through a similar experience.

Try to be open with your doctors—let them know how you're feeling before and during your treatment experience. It's also important to tell your doctors and nurses about any medications you're taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements and herbal supplements.

Talking to your loved ones about cancer can be difficult—there is no right way to have this discussion. When you feel ready, tell your loved ones about your small cell lung cancer diagnosis and let them know you've made a treatment decision with your doctor.

It's important to know that you are not alone. Your care team will be there to help answer any questions you may have.