GRACE :: Lung Cancer

Breakthroughs in Lung Cancer from 2014 from Thomas John, MD

Dr. Thomas John of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia presents his favorite breakthroughs in lung cancer from 2014.

For those who wish to access the PDF, it’s here: Thomas John, MD Top Four Lung Cancer Highlights 2014

Agree? Disagree? What are you looking forward to in 2015?


Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard: My Top Highlight in Lung Cancer from 2014 – Liquid Biopsies

There were many advances in lung cancer targeted treatments in 2014. The one that most excites Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the use of liquid biopsies.


My Top Five Highlights in Lung Cancer from 2014

An annual tradition is a reflection on the key developments in the field over the past year. This year saw some major advances, with several of the biggest changes bubbling just below the surface and about to really break out in 2015.  So without further adieu, here’s my list.

For those who wish to access the pdf, it’s here: Top 5 Highlights in Lung Cancer 2014

Agree? Disagree? What’s highest on your wish list for 2015?


Cyramza, New Angiogenesis Inhibitor, Approved with Taxotere for Second Line NSCLC: Let’s Review Why

It may not be the biggest present lung cancer patients could get for the holiday season, but the FDA just yesterday approved Cyramza (ramucirimab), an anti-angiogenic antibody with a mechanism similar to Avastin (bevacizumab) that is already approved for gastric cancer, as a new agent to treat previously treated advanced NSCLC, any histology. This was based on the phase III randomized trial called REVEL that was presented at ASCO 2014, so let’s review the evidence that led to this approval. 

The REVEL trial randomized 1253 patients with metastatic NSCLC of any histology (i.e., including squamous) who had received prior platinum-based doublet therapy as first line treatment to receive standard Taxotere (docetaxel), the FDA-approved cornerstone of second-line therapy, with either Cyramza at 10 mg/kg once every 21 days or placebo on that same interval until significant progression or prohibitive side effects. Patients could have received Cyramza’s cousin Avastin in the first line setting, but only about 10% of patients did.

The trial was looking for a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) and was technically a positive study.  Both the median progression-free survival (PFS) and median OS improved by about 1.5 months with the addition of Cyramza. Continue reading


One Patient’s Plea on “Giving Tuesday”

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I have lived with lung cancer since 2005. On this “Giving Tuesday,” I ask that you join me in making an end-of-year donation to an organization that truly deserves it, the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE).

GRACE has had a great year of growth. It conducted three in-person patient forums this year: the ALK+ Patient Forum, the Acquired Resistance in Lung Cancer Patient Forum, and the Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Melanoma, Lung, and Kidney Cancers. I attended two of them and I can tell you that they were amazing. They gave the attendees face-to-face access to experts and the knowledge that real work is being done to help us survive our respective diseases.

GRACE 2014 events

Clockwise from left: Patients at the ALK+ Forum, ROS1 patients at the Acquired Resistance Forum, Dr. Taofeek Owonikoko filming a video for GRACE

GRACE produced and posted over 120 videos on its website in 2014. The topics covered head and neck cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer and melanoma. On top of that, they posted over 50 updates on the news blogs and fielded 700 questions and inquiries in the online forums.

GRACE intends to hold four more forums in 2015, and to continue educating patients not just in lung cancer, but in a growing number of other cancers where exciting changes are coming.

All of these efforts cost money. I think we’ll only continue to see bigger and better things from GRACE in 2015, but they could surely use your help. Please help GRACE with a generous donation today. By learning as much as we can as patients, we are able to become true participants in our own care. GRACE makes that possible.

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