Watch Lung Cancer Survivors Bonnie J. Addario
and Emily Bennett Taylor talk about survival, friendship, and hope on the Steve Harvey Show!
Pilot program already showing positive patient outcomes, with ultimate goal to increase the lung cancer survival rate.
SAN CARLOS, CALIF., JUNE 20, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is creating a new patient-focused approach to standard of care for lung cancer with the launch of the Patient 360 Community Hospital Program. The program uses a collaborative, multi-disciplinary model to provide an individualized approach to care, giving the patient access to the newest and most effective diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for their specific needs.
"What we're finding is by using a team approach to individualized care we can begin to incrementally increase the survival rate of people diagnosed with lung cancer," said Bonnie J. Addario
, a stage 3B survivor and founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (LCF). "Because 80 percent of patients receive treatment at their local community hospital, these are the centers where the greatest good can be done for the greatest number."
Working with an elite team of pathologists and specialists to create an unsurpassed paradigm for lung cancer treatment, the LCF is in essence creating lung-specific centers of excellence in the community hospital setting. The program ensures that every patient receives molecular testing, combined with a multi-disciplinary team approach and selected treatment options unique to the patient's needs.
"The 360 Program's multidisciplinary approach is unique because it coordinates the standard of care for patients individually, giving each patient what's right for them." Addario said. "So the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the pathologist, the pulmonologist, and the surgeon are all communicating and collaborating, not just with academic, industry and technology, but internally as well." During the first six months of the pilot stage of the program, preliminary metrics and data have shown that patient outcomes have improved dramatically.
- 100 percent of patients in program have been molecular tested
- Diagnosis to treatment time has improved 77 percent, from an average of 45 days down to 10 days
- 62 percent of patients in program have had tumor board review
- Patient satisfaction is 100 percent = very good
- 26 percent of patients treated are diagnosed at stage 2B or lower
The program is rigid in its standard of treatment. Every patient in the pilot 360 program received molecular testing to better determine personalized treatments, as will be the case for all future patients as the program expands to more community hospitals in the coming years. Three new hospitals are expected to enlist by the end of 2013 and 30-50 by the end of 2015.
The program's process focuses on early detection, diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring, and patient follow up. Critical in the program's standard of care is ensuring all patients receive molecular testing, which uses DNA, RNA and proteins to test for specific states of disease. In lung cancer, molecular testing is used to determine potential patient response to targeted therapy.
The LCF has received generous support from a number of distinguished industry partners, including GE Healthcare, Pfizer and Boehringer-Ingelheim. GE Healthcare provided in-kind services from its oncology solutions division to help create the program's flow and metrics. The LCF is working with Boehringer-Ingelheim and Pfizer in partnership to broaden the overall awareness of multi-disciplinary collaborations that incorporate personalized testing to initiate timely and appropriate lung cancer treatments. Boehringer-Ingelheim also leads the letstestnow.com
campaign, set up to improve patient outcomes through a multidisciplinary approach to biomarker testing in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
"Every community hospital that joins us and implements this new multi-disciplinary, patient-centric approach to standard of care will be given a formal seal of excellence awarded by the LCF, signifying that no lung cancer patient is left behind," Addario said.
The pilot program launches during a time when an estimated 228,190 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. The American Cancer Society also estimates 159,480 Americans will die from the disease this year. The facts about Lung Cancer cannot continue to go unnoticed:
- In the last 45 years 50 million people worldwide have died from lung cancer.
- Every day 450 more die, 19 every hour and one every three minutes will die in the US and 1.4 million worldwide every year.
- It is the leading cancer killer in every ethnic group, and since 1987 lung cancer has killed more women every year than breast cancer.
- Yet the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 15.7 percent, and it has remained unchanged for more than 40 years.
- This staggering loss of life has gone unnoticed too long, and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is on a mission to change that.
- The LCF funds clinical research that leads to life-saving discoveries and treatments and provides critical support services and educational programs to empower patients and create hope.
"The Foundation is powering progress through ground-up initiatives, educating patients to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change," Addario said. "The LCF is empowering patients to take a seat at the table wherever discussions are being made about their care. We are committed to improving the standard of care and believe that chronically managed lung cancer using molecular testing to determine personalized therapies is the future of lung cancer treatment and the pathway to increasing the survival rate." About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $10 million for lung cancer research.
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
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Kelcey Harrison, center, and Jill Costello, right, were lifelong friends, seen here with Gianna Toboni on a grade school field trip. [Photos courtesy of Kelcey Harrison]
A couple of Saturdays ago, while you were watching college football or out buying a Christmas tree, 24-year-old Kelcey Harrison was running the last 20 miles of a 3,500-mile "jog" from Times Square to her hometown of San Francisco.
Harrison, who graduated from Harvard, where she played soccer, is young, healthy and motivated. By the time she completed The Great Lung Run
, she had logged 30 miles nearly every day for four months straight.
Harrison ran because she can. And because her lifelong friend Jill Costello
-- who was also once young and healthy and motivated -- cannot.
On June 6, 2009, Costello, then a junior at Cal and a member of the crew team, was diagnosed with lung cancer. The disease was already at stage 4 and had spread; she was given about a year to live. Costello spent that year finishing school, earning Pac-10 Athlete of the Year
honors, acting as vice president of the Panhellenic Council and doing tireless work for lung cancer charities -- all while undergoing chemotherapy.
In May 2010, doctors told Costello she could not be cured; all they could do was try to make her last few weeks more comfortable. In those last weeks she walked across the stage at graduation (with a 4.0 GPA) and helped Cal to a second-place finish at the NCAA crew championships.
"Jill was really strong," Harrison said. "She was really confident that she was gonna be the one to beat stage 4 lung cancer. She was very convincing in her argument; even at the very end we really believed she was going to be the miracle."
Costello died June 24, 2010.
Great Lung Run
The goal of the Kelcey Harrison's run across the United States was to raise $250,000 for lung cancer research. Donations are being accepted here.
No. 1 Cancer Killer
A young, vibrant nonsmoker, Costello was the last person anyone would expect to get lung cancer. But 20 percent of the more than 20,000 women
diagnosed with the disease each year have never smoked. Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States, taking more lives than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined.
Despite the staggering stats, there are no pink ribbons worn or mustaches grown in the name of lung cancer. There is, instead, a stigma
that the disease is self-inflicted; an illness brought on by a life of smoking. Research and funding is limited
and the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 15.5 percent; it hasn't budged in 40 years. More than half of all people with lung cancer die within a year of being diagnosed.
Costello hung on for 18 extra days.
So Harrison runs to raise money and awareness about the disease that took her friend's life. The Great Lung Run
has raised more than $150,000 for Jill's Legacy
, an advisory board to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
, the charity Costello worked closely with in the months before her death.
Darby Anderson, the director of Jill's Legacy
, said at first she didn't think Harrison would follow through with her plan to run across the country.
"I thought she was nuts," said Anderson, who was a sorority sister and close friend of Costello's. "I told her to call me back when she had an actual plan and then we would take her project from there. … [That] April I saw her in D.C. when I was there for our Jog for Jill Georgetown and she had a website, route, places to stay and was ready to actually make this happen. I was blown away."
Harrison was up early every morning to jog her 30 miles, taking a day off every 10 days or so to let her body rest. She took a break to walk every once in a while, but never stopped moving until the 30 miles were finished.
"It's just like getting up and going to work," Harrison said. "Sure there are days where it wasn't the first thing I wanted to be doing but that was my routine and my job at the time, so just gotta get up and do it."
Harrison's not sure how, but after 3,500 miles, she feels OK.
"I don't have an answer as to why I'm holding up so well," Harrison said. "It's a mystery to me just like everyone else. … People said they think I have the right motivation and someone special looking over me."
Harrison ran solo for the first six weeks of her trip, pushing her belongings in a jogging stroller and staying with hosts who would pick her up at the end of each run and drop her off the next morning where she left off. Eventually one of her friends from Jill's Legacy joined her on the road in a donated car, driving her to and from hotels along the way.
(The donated car, by the way, was a gold Chrysler 300 with 22-inch rims. When their first donated car lost its power steering the girls ended up at Oscar's Auto Salvage in New Mexico, hoping to sell it and rent one for the remainder of the trip. Instead, Henry, the shop's owner, offered his own tricked-out car for the final months of the trip.)
Just another day at the office
Running more than a marathon every day for four months sounds nearly impossible, but Harrison said from the start that if Costello could accomplish as much as she did in her last year of life, all while being ravaged by chemo, then a simple jog across the country was nothing.
"I spent a week with her on the road and she'd finish up her run and it was like she had just finished a day at work," Anderson said. "We would hang out, head to dinner, chit-chat and do completely normal things, except that she had just run 30 miles that day. … Kelcey has more courage and inspiration than anyone I have ever met and I am so grateful to have been able to just be a small part of this huge adventure."
The last part of The Great Lung Run
was across the Golden Gate Bridge to Crissy Field. The Cal crew team, Harrison and Costello's high school crew team and other friends and family joined in for the final miles.
The official completion of Harrison's run took place last Thursday -- a celebratory cocktail party at St. Ignatius College Prep, the high school she and Costello attended. Harrison had been honoring Costello's memory with each step of her journey, but returning to a place where they grew up was difficult.
"It's not hard to think about Jill all the time because she sort of turns into this image, a legend" Harrison said. "What's hard is when you find those moments to step back and remember Jill your friend. Jill who did Halloween costumes with me for 16 years of our lives. That's where it's tough.
"It's become bigger than her, which sometimes is sad because you feel like you're forgetting a little bit of your friend, but in her last year of life that's really what she was aiming for. All of us at Jill's Legacy
are really proud of what we're accomplishing but also really sad about [the reason] we're all involved in this."
Harrison will wake up this week with no miles to run, no path to follow. She's no longer interested in attending law school, but isn't quite sure what she wants to do instead.
"I'll take a little time to relax and then try to figure out what's next," she said. "I'm looking out for jobs, but I'll always be tied to our foundation and the cause of lung cancer. We'll always have jogs, bar events, restaurant things; anything to get more young people involved in lung cancer awareness. That will continue forever."
A young woman is nearly finished running from New York City to San Francisco to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer.
Over the last few months, this story should have been all over the internet, newspapers, magazines, and on TV. It is not. Why?
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