Come Hear me at the GRACE Acquired Resistance Forum for ALK, ROS1 and EGFR Lung Cancer 10/03/2015

GRACE ALK EGFR ROS1 forum graphic

I hope you’ll join me and a host of lung cancer experts on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the GRACE ALK, ROS1 & EGFR Acquired Resistance in Lung Cancer Patient Forum. I’m on the faculty, speaking about lung cancer patient survivorship.

The forum is for ALK, ROS1 & EGFR lung cancer patients and their caregivers, and will be held at the Marriott Waterfront San Francisco. You can register and read the agenda (with a list of confirmed faculty) online.

At the forum, lung cancer patients can learn about research advances in lung cancers driven by ALK, ROS1, and EGFR. You’ll hear from leaders in targeted therapy research. In addition to presentations and question and answer sessions, attendees will have many opportunities to approach the faculty to speak with them directly. An evening reception after the event will enable additional face time and give attendees – many of whom know each other from online support groups – a chance to meet in real life.

Scheduled presentations include:

  • Acquired Resistance & Why It Occurs
  • Brain as a Sanctuary Site
  • Repeat Biopsies and Serum-Based Testing
  • Selecting Patients for Immunotherapy
  • Quality of Life vs Progression Free Survival – What Are the Most Relevant Endpoints?
  • Patient Assistance Programs
  • Lung Cancer Survivorship

Additionally, breakouts for ALK/ROS1 patients and EGFR patients will cover issues specific to those patients:

  • New Ideas and Treatment Options
  • Individual Treatments for Individual Mutations
  • Combinations to Prevent & Treat Acquired Resistance
  • Drug Sequencing

Registration is $25 per person. GRACE has negotiated a group rate for rooms at the Marriott Waterfront San Francisco of $179 per night (request the “GRACE Patient Forum” room rate).

Hope to see you there!

#LCSM Chat Topic 10/23: How can we help new stage IV #lungcancer patients consider 2nd opinions, mutation testing and clinical trials?

The following post is reblogged with permission from today’s #LCSM Chat blog.


Most patients experience a period of stunned disbelief or shock when they hear a diagnosis of “metastatic lung cancer.”  For those who are offered treatment options, the first few months revolve around medical appointments.  Others may only be told to go home and get their affairs in order.  Patients and family members may be in denial, or trying to process what all those dismal survival statistics mean for their future. It might be the first time the patient or a family member has had to confront the possibility of death for themselves or a loved one.

Some patients (or their caregivers) may be empowered, engaged and researching options, but many don’t have the physical or emotional energy to do so.  At this point, few patients are thinking about second opinions, mutation testing, or clinical trials.

The problem with waiting for metastatic lung cancer patients to become empowered and engaged is that the majority won’t live a year if they can’t access the newest treatment options. However, if they get educated about their options, consult with a knowledgeable oncologist, and are eligible for newer treatments or clinical trials, their lifespan may be years longer.

You might ask, how could this be true?

The landscape of personalized medicine and new lung cancer treatments is changing fast, and more stage IV lung cancer patients are living longer.  Unfortunately, due to the pace of that change, not all healthcare providers who treat lung cancer are current on the newest treatment options. Some oncologists do not test their patients’ adenocarcinoma lung cancer tumors for EGFR or ALK, even though NCCN and other respected guidelines recommend it.  Even research oncologists at NCCN facilities can’t track every new clinical trial for lung cancer.  And, sadly, some healthcare providers simply believe that because metastatic lung cancer is not curable, there’s no point in treating it.

The fact is, most metastatic lung cancer patients (or their trusted caregivers) will need to become engaged and empowered if the patients want a better chance at survival.  Many will need help to do this, either online or offline.

The #LCSM Chat on October 23 will explore how the lung cancer community might help metastatic lung cancer patients become interested in and knowledgeable about second opinions, mutation testing, and clinical trials. Your moderator Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily), a stage IV lung cancer patient who currently has No Evidence of Disease in a clinical trial, will offer the following topics for discussion:

T1:  How can we help a stage IV lung cancer patient understand the need for 2nd opinion when their doctor offers no treatment?

T2:  How can we help a stage IV adeno lung cancer patient consider EGFR & ALK mutation testing if their doctor has not done it?

T3:  How can we help a stage IV lung cancer patient consider targeted therapy clinical trials if they have a targetable mutation?

We look forward to seeing you in the chat! To participate in the chat, remember to include #LCSM in all your tweets, or use a tweetchat tool like with that hashtag (more on that here).

Mantras of the Cancer Revolution

Here’s an inspiring and hopeful talk about finding cancer treatments.

Targeted therapies are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated. One of the leaders of this revolution is Dr. Ross Camidge, Director, Thoracic Oncology Clinical Program at University of Colorado Hospital. He recently gave a talk to Colorado State University’s biotech students, using examples of his lung cancer research to inspire the students to careers in biomedical science.

CSU Career Center’s BioTech Connect: Ross Camidge

RECAP — Mantras of the Cancer Revolution:

The revolution in cancer treatment happened when the effectiveness of crizotinib for ALK+ lung cancer was discovered. “The whole drug development industry in cancer changed overnight. It wasn’t about finding one drug that was going to work a little bit in everybody. It was about findiing a drug that worked amazingly well in a small number of people.”

Camidge stated the following “mantras of the cancer revolution”:

1. One size does not fit all
(personalize cancer treatment based on each individual’s cancer)

2. Don’t walk away from a good thing
(if the targeted drug is working, stay on it as long as possible)

3. If the cancer moves, follow it
(if the cancer moves into brain, make a drug to treat the brain)

4. Question everything

Disclosure: Dr. Camidge is my clinical trial oncologist. I feel incredibly blessed to have him leading my lung cancer team.