Archive for June, 2012

Ricky Gervais and Alex Ferguson Lead Lung Cancer Awareness Campaign

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Alex Ferguson, Jenny Frost, Duncan Bannatyne and Mark Lawrenson are lending their support to a campaign trying to raise awareness of lung cancer.

Read more on Rick Gervais and Alex Ferguson


Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

According to this article by Lynne Eldridge MD, lung cancer in never smokers is considered to be the 6th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
Take into consideration the two following facts: Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer, killing more people than colon, breast, kidney, liver, prostate and melanoma cancers combined. Secondly, tobacco smoking accounts for approximately 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.
Here is another statistic that may come as a shock to some: Tobacco usage, both past and present, accounts for approximately 80% of lung cancers in women. That means that 20% of women with lung cancer have never smoked. It makes you think twice about the stigma associated with lung cancer, doesn’t it?
Smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos, radon or other harmful carcinogens, a family history of lung cancer—all of these factors play a role in determining an individual’s personal lung cancer risk. It is important to take all of them into consideration, even if one is more prevalent than others.
Recognizing these risk factors is important; equally important, however, is the knowledge of how these factors impact your personal lung cancer risk, and taking charge to monitor your own personal risk.
According to data from the National Cancer Institute, the average five-year survival rate for a lung cancer patient is only 15%. If the cancer is caught in the later stages, after it has spread, that number can drop all the way down to 4%.
The key to fighting lung cancer is catching the disease in its earliest stages, when the five-year survival rate jumps to more than 50%.
We invite you to assess your personal lung cancer risk with this lung cancer risk calculator, developed with the help of clinicians from MD Anderson. Another available tool is the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center “Lung Cancer Prediction Tool,” which measures risk by taking various factors into account, including age, smoking history, gender and exposure to carcinogens.
By finding one’s propensity for lung cancer, people can get a feel for his or her potential for developing the disease before symptoms appear, and take precautionary action, such as seeing a physician, learning about various methods for early lung cancer detection, or taking action to lower try and lower your personal risk.
With the five-year survival rate so low and symptoms from the disease often not appearing until the late stages of the disease, there is a growing importance for early lung cancer detection methods—one of which is utilizing and understanding proper risk assessment tools.

Courtesy of Hello Have You Heard? Posted by Greg Stanley

Surviving Lung Cancer – A Physician’s Story

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Watch Dr. Keith Kelly discuss the value of early detection of lung cancer, how important it is to find lung cancer early, and how EarlyCDT-Lung may have impacted the life of a patient.

Surviving Lung Cancer – Barbara’s Story

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Watch the story of Barbara Champion, a lung cancer survivor, talk about her fight against lung cancer, the benefit of early detection, and her experience with EarlyCDT-Lung, a simple blood test which can aid in the early detection of lung cancer.

The Changing Face of Lung Cancer

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

When Carol Sill learned she had lung cancer in November 2004, she and her husband, Dennis, searched the Web for a support group near their Sacramento home. They called the American Cancer Society. They checked with the American Lung Association. Nothing.

“If I had breast cancer, I’d be able to choose from literally dozens of support groups and help lines right in our area. But there was nothing for lung cancer,” Sill said.

Now there is. Determined to reverse the stigma she believes has kept lung cancer patients from stepping forward and seeking the help they need, Sill went to work. She founded a support group that meets twice a month at UC Davis Cancer Center under the leadership of Cancer Center social worker Carolyn Guadagnolo. Sill also forged ties with the Gail P. Ramos Lung Cancer Foundation in Fairfield, to help that group expand its fundraising efforts for lung cancer research in Sacramento. She also told her story to the Sacramento Bee and the regional ABC and NBC affiliates.
Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States, but it lags far behind breast and prostate cancer in terms of public attention. At one recent meeting of the support group Sill established, a woman talked about ribbons. Breast cancer has a pink ribbon; prostate cancer’s is blue. The lung cancer ribbon is clear, she had discovered. “Invisible. Like us,” she told the group.
“Invisible like us”
That’s changing. ABC anchorman Peter Jennings’ death from lung cancer last year put the disease in the headlines. Shortly after his death, Dana Reeve, widow of actor Christopher Reeve, confirmed her lung cancer diagnosis, helping to raise awareness that lung cancer is increasingly a disease of younger women who have never smoked. She died of the disease March 6.
“Twenty years ago, the typical lung cancer patient was an older man who had a smoking history,” said David R. Gandara , director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at UC Davis Cancer Center. “But lung cancer rates for men are down, while they are climbing in women. And in my clinic, more than one-third of our lung cancer patients are never-smokers — individuals who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.”
Improving Treatment
Treatments are also changing. Last year, a Southwest Oncology Group study led by Gandara demonstrated the best long-term survival rates yet reported in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Another study, co-authored by Gandara, showed that administering chemotherapy after surgery can boost five-year survival for patients with early stage, completely resected non-small cell lung cancer tumors to more than 60 percent. Both studies made national headlines.
Newer drugs are targeting tumors in more specific ways. Half a dozen of these molecularly targeted agents are being evaluated at UC Davis Cancer Center right now. UC Davis researchers are also looking for clues that will let doctors better determine which patients will respond to which targeted agents, and are studying new methods of preventing lung cancer recurrence.
In its first three months, Sacramento’s first lung cancer support group grew to 60 members. Meetings are held on Wednesdays to coincide with the Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary lung clinic and Thoracic Tumor Board. Patients from as far away as Palo Alto, Tahoe and Turlock attend, often because no lung cancer support group is available closer to home.
Courtesy of UC Davis Health Center

Hank Baskett And Chris Draft Teamed Up With The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation To Raise $145,000 To Drive This #1 Cancer Killer Off The Map

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The Former NFL Duo is Rallying a Star-Studded List of Hollywood and Athletic Celebrities to Join Them in Their Personal Journey to Tackle Lung Cancer

Hank: I’m here to support Bonnie’s Foundation because Lung Cancer is personal to me. It has swooped in and attacked my dad, and I understand how brutally destructive this cancer is and how many people are waging war to battle it.

Chris: I am honored to be here and passionate about helping an organization like the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation that is leading the way, and pushing for immediate answers – not future hypotheses, for people like my wife, who never smoked and was in great physical shape, but was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and died less than a year later. Bonnie is demanding answers NOW!

Hank: Every breath you take-the fuel of your body starts with your lungs. So take care of your lungs because you’ll need them-more than you’ll ever imagine. Trust me.

Bonnie: I get the breathing thing…I know it first hand and I know what it feels like when you can’t. It is our FUEL. Without it, life is terribly compromised…just having the support of Chris and Hank takes my breath away-in the good way!

SAN FRANCISCO, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — While the U.S. Open was in full swing just 15 minutes away at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, 144 heroes including NFL stars Chris Draft and Hank Baskett were championing the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s Seventh Annual “Lung Cancer: Drive it off the Earth” Golf Tournament at Alistair MacKenzie-designed Green Hills Country Club. This year’s tournament raised more than $145,000 for this least-funded, yet most deadly cancer, which will go toward Lung Cancer research.
For both players, Lung Cancer is personal. Baskett, signed by the Colts and went on to play five years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles is helping his father battle the disease. Draft, played 12 years in the NFL for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, and the Buffalo Bills recently lost his wife to the disease. Together, they are tackling Lung Cancer by raising awareness.

“We’re proud that Hank Baskett and Chris Draft are making a bold statement against Lung Cancer,” says Bonnie J. Addario, founder and a Lung Cancer survivor. “We’re so honored to have Hank and Chris-and their football and Hollywood friends-on our team helping to raise much-needed funding and awareness for Lung Cancer and the message that ANYONE CAN GET LUNG CANCER.”

The reception cocktail party, silent and live auctions and raffle proved that everyone was a winner. Addario, one of the rare Lung Cancer survivors and founder of the Foundation, welcomed Draft and Baskett into the Foundation’s family at dinner.

“I’m so proud to have Hank and Chris in our family,” said Bonnie. “Hank, I loved meeting your Dad at the tournament you held for us in May at the Trump National Golf Club. The only way I can describe him is he’s a GREAT BIG HUG and your mom is a pistol. The leadership and courage you and Chris are bringing to the team has grown way beyond the football field. Thank you for stepping up and helping us turn Lung Cancer into a manageable, survivable disease.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after an airing of “Chris Draft, Love and Loss,” (’s touching profile of Chris and his late wife Keasha, and their commitment to dance, smile, and live as they fought Lung Cancer together. As a former Charlotte Hornets Honeybee dancer and member of Clemson University’s Rally Cat dance squad, Keasha was an energetic vibrant young woman who had never smoked when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in December 2010. At the time, her only “symptom” was a slight shortness of breath a few days earlier. Despite the diagnosis and knowing the long odds they faced, Keasha and Chris decided to fight back. On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft together at their wedding. One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight and died at the age of 38.

“The only way to tackle the issue of Lung Cancer is to do it as a solid team bringing together everyone from the patients and caregivers to the researchers and the doctors who are demanding that the results so far are not good at all,” said Draft. “There’s no one group that has a monopoly on this and that is why I was drawn to Bonnie and the foundation because they are working as a team with (ALCMI) Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute and their Lung Cancer Living Room® series. ( What separates them is that Bonnie knows there is a sense of urgency. Keasha had one year from her diagnosis, so I don’t listen when someone says ‘we’re working on it.” That’s not good enough.”

First place winners of the sold-out tournament were Michael Vasquez, Greg Gabbani, Josh Lutz and many-time winner Eddie Hernandez with an astounding 54. Second place winners were Rich Deponte, Stan Colombo, Dan Poncabra and long-time faithful major donor Mo Townsley with a score of 55.

The tournament’s presenting sponsor’s team from the Burns Family Foundation and Mobius Fit was led by Rob Dean and the foursome including Dave Engel, Ross Headley and Jeff Lokey came in third with a score of 56 (26 back 9).

David R. Gandara, M.D., University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Dr. Gandara’s research interests focus on developmental therapeutics of new anti-cancer agents as well as preclinical modeling and clinical research in lung cancer. He is the principal investigator on an Early Therapeutics award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he leads an interdisciplinary team of clinical oncologists, pharmacologists, molecular biologists and statisticians in developing new anti-cancer agents in a variety of novel drug classes. He also leads a multi-specialty team in the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), an NCI-funded national clinical research organization, in studies related to improving therapies for lung cancer and developing predictive biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy. Dr. Gandara is also the UC Davis principal investigator for a multi-institutional collaboration (iGXT: integrated Genetically-engineered mouse models, patient-derived Xenografts, and Clinical Trials) between the NCI Center for Advanced Preclinical Research (CAPR) and Jackson Laboratory, an NCI-designated basic cancer center. The goal of this iGXT project is to develop better preclinical models to optimize cancer drug development and speed the transition to personalized cancer therapy.

Watch Cancer Treatment: Are Personalized Molecular Profiles in Our Future? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Thierry Jahan, M.D., University of California San Francisco

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Thierry Jahan, M.D. is the one of the region’s foremost and highly regarded thoracic oncologists. Dr. Jahan has devoted his life to treating patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma and sarcoma. In addition to his keen clinical insight, Dr. Jahan is known by patients, their families and fellow clinicians for his sense of empathy and compassion. His commitment to wiping out lung cancer can be seen in the pins and ribbons that adorn his white coat, a message of hope he carries symbolically to patients as they battle a cruel disease.
Dr. Jahan received his M.D. from George Washington University. He completed his residency and an internal medicine fellowship at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCSF. In 1994, Dr. Jahan joined the UCSF faculty and later, with Dr. David M. Jablons, cofounded the Thoracic Oncology Program. Dr. Jahan currently holds the title of Associate Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.
Dr. Jahan has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Medical House Staff Outstanding Teacher Award and Friend of the Palliative Care Service Award. He is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American College of Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the Association of Northern California Oncologists.
Dr. Jahan has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and research abstracts and lectured nationally and internationally on lung cancer and mesothelioma. The San Francisco Chronicle, Time Magazine and KPIX in San Francisco have each sought out his insights and observations on the clinical and human side of battling serious life-threatening cancers.
Research Summary
Dr. Jahan is Principal Investigator on numerous thoracic oncology clinical trials. He has a particular interest in testing target therapies in non-small cell lung cancer malignant mesothelioma as either single agents or in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation. Respond and Donate Today!

David M. Jablons, M.D., University California San Francisco

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

David M. Jablons M.D., FACS is the Ada Distinguished Professor in Thoracic Oncology, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, and Program Leader of Thoracic Oncology at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer. He also is Director of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Lab.
Dr. Jablons received his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University New York. In his fourth year of medical school, he won a prestigious preceptorship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for clinical science training under Dr. Steven Rosenberg, a world-renowned surgical oncologist and tumor immunologist. This experience kindled his lifelong interest in translational science.
Dr. Jablons began his surgical residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He then completed his surgical oncology fellowship at NCI, focusing on tumor immunology and immunotherapy. Dr. Jablons received his advanced cardiothoracic training as a fellow under Dr. Wayne Isom at Cornell Medical Center (now New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center), and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center under Dr. Robert Ginsburg. Dr. Jablons also trained with Dr. David Sugarbaker in lung transplantation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
In 1994, while on active duty in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Jablons served as a commander and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Naval Hospital at Oakland at Oak Knoll. In 1995, he was recruited by the UCSF Department of Surgery to build a world-class program in thoracic surgery and oncology. In 1997, Dr. Jablons was named Chief of General Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Jablons co-founded the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Conference, the oldest such program of its kind and was co-Chair of the 13th World Conference on Lung Cancer in 2009. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Association for Cancer Research and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Jablons was named to the list of U.S. News “America’s Top Doctors,” a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for a given specialty.
Dr. Jablons was recently inducted into the American Surgical Society, the nation’s oldest most prestigious surgical organization with membership comprised of world-renowned surgeons from leading academic medical institutions including many Department of Surgery Chairs.
Research Summary
Soon after his arrival, Dr. Jablons recruited basic scientists Biao He, Ph.D., Zhidong Xu, Ph.D., and Liang You, Ph.D. to form the nucleus of the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory. Key areas of research include isolation of lung cancer stems cells, the Wnt pathway in lung cancer and mesothelioma, inflammation in carcinogenesis, and the underlying molecular biology of thoracic malignancies.
The lab recently added four new principal investigators Il-Jin Kim, Ph.D., Hassan Lemjabbar-Alaoui. Ph.D., Carlo C. Maley, Ph.D., and Minh To, Ph.D. creating a formidable research enterprise focused on drug target discovery, commercialization of novel therapeutics and development of genomic assays based on predictive and prognostic biomarkers.

Stephanie Jenkins is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in Nov. 2010. At that time, I moved my family (myself and three children) back to MD to care for her during her treatments. By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had spread to her breast, liver, spine and brain.
My mother went through aggressive chemo and radiation treatments for almost 5 months. By May of 2011, my mother was in almost complete remission. Throughout it all, she remained in very good spirits and remained optimistic. Very active (even in her mid 60′s), she refused to let the disease shut her down. She loved to cook and loved being with family.
For at least 20 years, we had an annual Goldsmith Family Reunion and would gather at Thanksgiving. She never missed a reunion or Thanksgiving dinner. Even with the cancer that had sickened her so much. I continued to take care of her and never missed a beat. What she wanted to do and wherever she wanted to go, I’d see her to it. She was the backbone of the family and would ALWAYS be the one to get us together and keep things going.
In December 2011, my mother’s cancer was back. She began treatments again, however, her body was not responsive to it. Even still, she remained optimistic. I stayed in prayer and held on strong to my faith. Surrounded by family and friends constantly, my mother continued to remain strong. She knew she was very much loved.
On April 24, 2012, I lost my mother to her battle with cancer. Shortly after I moved back to MD from GA to take care of my mother, I became a volunteer with the DC Cancer Consortium. I continue to volunteer my time and want to continue with such efforts in the research for curing cancer. If there is anything I can do, please know that I am available and willing. When I read your story, I was so touched. It took me back to my mother. Although it’s only been a little over a month, it feels like an eternity. I definitely would like to help raise the awareness of lung cancer and screenings and research.