[ Inglês] Comprehensive Diagnostic Testing From a Lung Cancer Patient’s Perspective

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Topics include: Patient Stories

[Editor’s note (11/2018): Matt Ellefson passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. Matt was the epitome of what it means to live a purpose-driven life. His work has impacted thousands of people across the world.]

Genetic testing is a question that lung cancer patients must face.  Matt Ellefson, founder of SURVIVEiT and also a 7-year lung cancer survivor, speaks candidly about his experience with genetic testing and offers his opinion on comprehensive diagnostic testing.

This lung cancer webinar was a SURVIVEiT® program produced in association with US Oncology NetworkVirginia Cancer Specialists and the Precision Medicine for Me initiative and produced by Patient Power. The program was sponsored by SURVIVEiT, a non-profit patient organization, through educational grants they received from Celgene, AbbVieFoundation Medicine, Novartis and Guardant Health with additional support from Viviphi.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Right. I want to just go to Matt for a second, and then I’m gonna introduce you to another patient who’s very inspiring. Matt, so you’re a big believer that people, knowing that sometimes lung cancer, biopsies, tissue, that’s precious stuff that you want, you would urge patients to see if they can be tested and be tested for a broader panel, just like Dr. Johnson was describing, correct?

Matt Ellefson: 

Exactly, Andrew. And the reason that I believe that so strongly is you never know when you’re gonna be able to get that opportunity again to test. And I’ve been in that position where the metastases or where the recurrence has occurred is a very invasive surgery, to be able to grab a tissue sample. And I wasn’t well enough as a patient at that time to really undergo a major surgery like that to get the biopsy.

And so, if I hadn’t have known—hadn’t have had a complete panel, it would have limited my medical team that I was seeing, my team of oncologists who would have limited their knowledge and their abilities and the tools that they had available to be able to help me. And then the other thing that comes into play is—and I would hope that both Dr. Spira and Dr. Johnson would explain this in more detail—but another thing that we’re hearing more and more about are drug cocktails, where I, for example, have the ALK rearrangement, but I also have another gene that they feel may be contributing to my cancer in some way that has an approved therapy for breast and ovarian cancer, but not for lung cancer. And so, if I did an off-label drug cocktail of the two drugs, then that may be beneficial to me.

But this is all relatively new, so I’m really excited to hear what Dr. Johnson and Dr. Spira have to say about this, because I think it’s really important. I think it’s not only important to get that comprehensive diagnostic testing immediately when you’re diagnosed or to set your baseline, but also as you have recurrences, if you have the ability to go in and get another biopsy without harming the patient or making his or her condition worse, I think that’s also very important, because things change over time.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on April 3, 2019