LUNGevity Launches New PSA Spreading Awareness of Importance of Biomarker Testing

LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, has launched a new PSA campaign encouraging people diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to speak with their doctor about biomarker testing at the time of diagnosis or recurrence.

Inhale for Life: Biomarker Testing is a follow-up to the successful 2017 Inhale for Life campaign focused on general lung cancer awareness. It features the stories of six lung cancer survivors who have benefitted from testing and are taking treatments that allow them to lead their lives as normally as possible. These six individuals―reflecting diversity of age, geography, and ethnicity―are opening new businesses, raising young families, running marathons, and traveling with their loved ones. They epitomize the hope of new treatments for lung cancer patients. The videos will be disseminated via print media, social media, and digital ads.

Science has advanced to a point where clinicians can often detect unique characteristics of a patient’s tumor through biomarker testing and then prescribe personalized, biomarker-driven treatments. These treatments can result in improved outcomes and quality of life―truly precision medicine. Biomarker testing is essential to precision medicine because it identifies which treatment options, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies, are best suited for each patient. Because lung cancer is not one disease, but a collection of different subtypes of the disease, each subtype may require a personalized treatment option.

“Today’s deeper understanding of the multitude of biomarkers associated with lung cancer―driver mutations like ALK, EGFR, ROS1, BRAF V600E, and immunotherapy biomarkers such as PDL-1 and tumor mutational burden (TMB)—has enabled scientists to develop life-changing treatments,” said Dr. Upal Basu Roy, Director of Translational Research Program/Director of Patient FoRCe at LUNGevity Foundation. “Since 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved 25 lung cancer treatment approaches, the majority of which are biomarker-driven―and this list continues to grow. Patients need biomarker testing to qualify for these treatments.”

“Lung cancer is at the forefront of precision medicine, yet far too many patients have not had the benefit of biomarker testing of their cancer,” said Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “The new Inhale for Life biomarker videos will increase awareness about the value of testing and encourage people to ask their doctor if testing is right for them. The hope that these survivors’ stories represent—from that of Emily Daniels, a mother of two young children, to that of Juanita Segura, who owns her own CrossFit gym—will also help demonstrate the meaning of living well with lung cancer.”

The Inhale for Life: Biomarker Testing campaign, launched in November to coincide with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, was supported in part by grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, EMD Serono, and Foundation Medicine. This campaign is part of LUNGevity’s broader efforts to promote precision medicine in lung cancer and ensure that patients have access to it. LUNGevity strives to make biomarker tests a standard of care and ensure that testing is covered by insurance more than once in a patient’s lifetime in order to achieve personalized treatment.

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