Today is Best of ASCO and it’s a continuing medical education forum from the big ASCO meeting in Chicago. Luis Raez is Chair and he’s put together an amazing meeting today; it’s been a full house all week and very successful.
What were the main points of your talk?
Most of what I spoke about today has been about how many unmet needs there are for patients and what all the barriers are for patients to get to an enhanced standard of care similar to the one you get in an academic centre. 80% of all patients are treated in the community, which is a good thing but not all community centres specialise in lung cancer. Various different communities specialise in either other cancers or heart or different things. Our goal is to get our seal of approval for centres of excellence in lung cancer across the nation so patients don’t have to either drive hundreds and hundreds of miles to get to a centre with enhanced care or, even worse, have to get on an airplane to get an enhanced standard of care for lung cancer.
It’s working well, we already have probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of eighteen or nineteen signed and we have three in the pipeline ready to go and then another twenty that hopefully we’ll have before this year is over.
What recent developments have been made within the field of lung cancer?
I went to ASCO in Chicago probably eight or nine years ago and no-one was talking about lung cancer. The only real drugs that were available for lung cancer were carboplatin Taxol, which is what I had, I’m a lung cancer survivor myself, and there was no hope. There was very little hope and very little funding for research for lung cancer. Today more drugs have been approved for lung cancer in the last eighteen months than have been approved in the last four decades so lung cancer survival is on the horizon, to be increased in many, many ways.