WASHINGTON, DC (November 1, 2023) – LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit, today celebrates the third year of #KnowYourBiomarker, a social media initiative that highlights the stories of people living well with lung cancer. The initiative is part of LUNGevity’s No One Missed campaign aimed at driving awareness of comprehensive biomarker testing in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The anniversary of #KnowYourBiomarker falls on November 1 at the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month. LUNGevity recognizes November as “KNOWvember” to spread awareness of the importance for people living with NSCLC—and their healthcare team—of knowing their biomarker status to inform the appropriate treatment for their type of lung cancer.
“As we enter the third year of No One Missed’s #KnowYourBiomarker initiative, we've been inspired by the stories of individuals living with lung cancer—and their family members and healthcare providers—highlighting the impact and importance of comprehensive biomarker testing,” said Andrea Ferris, president and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “By sharing their stories about the difference this testing can make for people living with lung cancer, these individuals have helped to empower others, offering insights into the benefits of personalized treatment and fostering hope.”
For those interested in joining the #KnowYourBiomarker conversation, here’s how you can get involved:
- Post your story on your social media and use #KnowYourBiomarker.
- Visit the “Share Your Story” section of noonemissed.org to print the #KnowYourBiomarker sign. Write your biomarker on the sign and take a picture to post on social media.
- Keep an eye on LUNGevity’s social channels throughout November to read and engage with the stories of people living with lung cancer who have received biomarker testing and other KNOWvember content:
Here are three examples of people living with lung cancer who shared their biomarker testing experiences.
Shirley Munoz, La Puente, CA
Shirley was 34 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC after experiencing a bad cough and shortness of breath that wouldn’t go away. Her doctors gave her a prognosis of less than one year to live. She started chemotherapy, which resulted in awful side effects that prevented her from being able to work. After her healthcare team ordered biomarker testing, they discovered her cancer was positive for the ALK mutation and matched Shirley with a targeted therapy. Now, three years after her diagnosis, Shirley is living her life to the fullest.
Aurora Lucas, Chicago, IL
At 28 years old, Aurora was diagnosed with stage 3A lung cancer. Her incessant cough and chest pain led her to seek medical advice, but her diagnosis was delayed by three months due to her young age and insurance. Following her diagnosis, Aurora was fortunate to find a healthcare team that conducted biomarker testing, leading to the discovery that she had the EGFR exon 19 mutation. Due to the unique nature of her diagnosis, she sought a second opinion. She went through fertility preservation, two rounds of chemotherapy, 30 days of radiation, started targeted therapy and—after a shift from her original treatment plan—her side effects were significantly reduced. As a result of her experiences, Aurora is now passionate about supporting other people living with lung cancer, especially from historically underserved communities.
Brandi Bryant, Decatur, GA
When Brandi had a nagging cough that wouldn’t go away, she decided to talk to her doctor. After receiving x-rays that were inconclusive, a CT scan and biopsy confirmed that Brandi had stage 3B NSCLC. Her community hospital had sent her biopsy sample for biomarker testing and they knew she tested positive for the ALK+ mutation. Her first treatment plan included chemotherapy and multiple rounds of radiation, followed by 12 rounds of immunotherapy. After her cancer advanced to stage 4 during chemo, her doctors gave Brandi the option to move forward with immunotherapy as planned or to try a targeted therapy. Due to her involvement in the ALK+ patient group, she felt that immunotherapy was not the best option for ALK+ patients. She chose targeted therapy and her oncologist agreed. Now, almost six years later, Brandi shows no evidence of disease (NED).
In addition to No One Missed’s #KnowYourBiomarker initiative, LUNGevity has other ways to get involved during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The organization has partnered with multiple health systems and organizations in the Atlanta area—including Cancer Support Community Atlanta, the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Grady Health System, Northside Hospital, Piedmont Healthcare, and Wellstar Health System—for an interactive event on the latest in lung cancer research and treatment. “Hope and Progress for the Lung Cancer Community: An Educational Webinar” will be available to attend at in-person watch parties or online. To register, or for more information about the webinar, click here. Individuals interested in participating in Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities also can join unified walks or visit resource fairs in New York, Chicago, Boston, and DC as part of LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep TOGETHER event. For more information, click here.
About the No One Missed Campaign
No One Missed is a community-led campaign driven by LUNGevity Foundation and composed of patient advocacy, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology organizations. The campaign’s mission is to build public awareness of comprehensive biomarker testing as a critical part of every non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) diagnosis and empower patients with NSCLC to discuss comprehensive biomarker testing with their healthcare team. For more information on comprehensive biomarker testing, including resources that people living with NSCLC can use to discuss testing with their healthcare team, visit NoOneMissed.org.
No One Missed is supported by founding partner AstraZeneca; by premier member Sanofi; by supporting member Amgen; by members AbbVie, Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Merck & Co., Inc., and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, No One Missed is supported by partners ALK Positive, Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+), EGFResisters, Exon 20 Group, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, Oncology Nursing Society, KRAS Kickers, MET Crusaders, MYLUNG ConsortiumTM, NTRKers, RETpositive, and The ROS1ders.
About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity, the nation’s leading lung cancer organization, is transforming what it means to be diagnosed and live with lung cancer. LUNGevity seeks to make an immediate impact on quality of life and survivorship for everyone touched by the disease—while promoting health equity by addressing disparities throughout the care continuum.
- Through research, we use an innovative and holistic approach to finding lung cancer earlier when it is most treatable; advance research into new treatments so people may live longer and better; and ensure a diverse, vital pipeline of investigators for the future of the lung cancer field.
- Through advocacy, we foster groundbreaking collaborations to ensure all people have access to screening, biomarker testing, and treatment breakthroughs.
- Through community, we educate, support, and connect people affected by lung cancer so that they can get the best healthcare and live longer and better lives.
Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, Patient Gateways for specific types of lung cancer, a toll-free HELPLine for personalized support, international survivor conferences, and tools to find a clinical trial. All these programs are designed to help us achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.
Please visit www.LUNGevity.org to learn more.
About Lung Cancer in the US
- About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
- More than 238,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.
- About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
- Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three leading cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined.
- Only 25% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, but if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically.