Dr. Joshua Campbell has been immersed in the field of lung cancer for several years and wanted to find a better way to diagnose squamous cell lung cancer patients, a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer, while the cancer is in early stages. “There is a huge need for research in this area,” he notes. “Improving early detection techniques will be key to improving survival rates for patients with squamous cell lung cancer.”
Many people with family histories of cancer are getting tested to identify their cancer risk and take action before it starts. For example, the actress Angelina Jolie, who inherited the BRCA1 gene and whose mother died of ovarian cancer, underwent two preventive surgeries to reduce her risk of breast and ovarian cancer, while patients with an increased risk of colon cancer often take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk.
I am sure all of you have heard the phrase “A picture’s worth a thousand words!” I first heard it from my undergraduate biology professor, who always reminded us that each time we looked at an anatomy image in Grey’s Anatomy, we would learn something new. Well, little did I know that I would be using the same phrase in the context of lung cancer screening and computed tomography (CT) screening.
As a pathologist specializing in lung disease at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lida Hariri’s job is to analyze lung biopsy samples and diagnose patients. After years of doing this work, she started to notice a pattern. When lung CT scans showed lesions that were difficult to access or too small to biopsy well, many doctors tended to wait and see whether the lesion grew before doing the biopsy.
Each year Viswam Nair, MD, manages treatment plans for hundreds of patients at Stanford University. A pulmonologist with formal training in epidemiology, Dr. Nair stays current on the latest scientific breakthroughs to offer his patients the best possible outcomes.
For people with lung cancer, one of the first steps in navigating their diagnosis comes from understanding what their lung cancer stage means for the future of their treatment.
In recent years, biomarker testing has grown increasingly more important and more complex as researchers understand critical details about the molecular basis of lung cancer. By testing the genomic make-up of each individual’s lung cancer, oncologists are better equipped to recommend treatment plans that are optimized for patient outcomes.
Coming to terms with a lung cancer diagnosis can be difficult. You might feel anxious, angry, or out of control. You might have difficulty sleeping or perhaps unable to even talk about your diagnosis. According to Leigh Ann Caulkins, MSW, LCSW, ACHIP-SW, Oncology Clinical Therapist at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, VA, this is all completely normal. It’s called an “adjustment reaction.”
2020 was a year of firsts—the first global pandemic of the 21st century; the first FDA approvals for two oncogenic drivers, RET and MET; the first approval of a targeted therapy for early-stage lung cancer; and many more.
I always enjoy reflecting on the previous year because it gives me the opportunity to celebrate its successes and then look forward to what the new year will bring. 2020 was a mixed bag, as all of you know.
In this video brought to you in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, Andrea Ferris, CEO and President of LUNGevity, and Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, Global Head of the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson, discuss exciting developments in lung cancer research, prevention, interception, and treatment, as well as the possibility of a cure for lung cancer. It is an inspiring conversation that includes what the future may hold for people living with lung cancer.