Comprehensive Diagnostic Testing From a Lung Cancer Patient’s Perspective | Transcript | Lung Cancer | Patient Power


Comprehensive Diagnostic Testing From a Lung Cancer Patient’s Perspective

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