WEEI>On Demand>>DH - Jeannie Larson, 57, lung cancer, Merrimack, NH with Dr. Geoffrey (Jeff) Oxnard, thoracic oncologist, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber

DH - Jeannie Larson, 57, lung cancer, Merrimack, NH with Dr. Geoffrey (Jeff) Oxnard, thoracic oncologist, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Jeannie was a non-smoker, but was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer after first having pain in her leg. The first oncologist gave Jeannie a grim diagnosis and survival rate. She is extremely grateful to have found Dr. Oxnard and Dana-Farber who, thanks to a clinical trial, have given Jeannie her life back. Dr. Oxnard doctor helped treat her cancer with a new precision medicine treatment called a "liquid biopsy". The liquid biopsy accurately tells whether a lung cancer patient has a mutation that makes the disease treatable. It's also being tested on other cancers. Dr. Oxnard is a lung cancer expert in the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber. Besides treating lung cancer patients, Dr. Oxnard spends a lot of time on research. His current research study includes liquid biopsies. Liquid biopsies are non-invasive blood tests that detect circulating tumor cells and fragments of tumor DNA that are shed into the blood. A liquid biopsy made a huge difference in the treatment of patient Jeannie Larson.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Very happy to welcome in other private Merrimack New Hampshire Jamie Larsen is whether us and now also here. Is that doctor Jeffrey Sox aren't we Cullum Jeff thoracic oncologist at the Los that are for thoracic oncology. Jeannie let's start with you and because you're the second person today we talked to. Was a non smoker and was diagnosed with lung cancer and it just doesn't seem right to me somehow. It didn't seem right to me either I was quite surprised by the diagnosis. The live very surprised. And no idea. You know I had a pain in my leg. Which I attributed to exercising too much or too hard. And I went to the doctor and she was treating me for a just say. You know it slipped disk or something and then I decided that I wasn't getting any better so I better just have everything checked out a little bit more thoroughly and that's when I went and had an MRI of my spine in the metastasis showed up. And doctor ox cart dale mentioned a second person today. Who's in that situation so that means if you probably hear a lot and how do you how do you explain to somebody how do you. Kind of present and handle your not a smoker. In this is happening with what he said. Smoker and lung cancer in nonsmokers as the seventh most common cancer worldwide so it really I think that. Lung cancers caused by bad luck yet and smoking not bad luck and what ever asking about like right in the end we figure out that in many patients what lung cancer it's a simple genetic change in the tumor that gives you that bad luck and a very simple cancer that. Maybe with the right who you can turn around and that's the whole emergence of targeted therapies these pill therapies and allow patients to live their life with them with a metastatic cancer. I find the right drug to turn cancer into remission. Jeanine when you first got this diagnosis that they put a timeframe on it I ask because our last guest that he had stage four cancer it. I put my own timeframe on it because island and local lung cancer which was that. Worst thing I could eventually go on because I immediately thought maybe I had here I mean all these things going through my head about what they needed to do I needed. Get my family prepared them for everything that was about to happen and when Knight met with doctor oxen are and I found out about the news targeted therapies that are out there. It like changed everything for me and my attitude now is I'm just taking it one day at a time and I'm trying to. I'm hoping that it can last for very long time spoiler alert that. Illegal that's only had she got a six month diagnosis those ten years ago I was real heavy seven in and they'd like. Kill anyone of us and and it hit Papelbon right now to doctor it's this with this liquid biopsy. Procedure that you don't let walk us through that this. Any idea that if we wanna stay ahead of the cancer we need to figure out what it's thinking and we need to do it on a regular basis perhaps in so. We develop blood test that let us. Ask is the cancer developing resistance what's the type resistance and how can I figure out the next step. Before I ran out of time. And so we you know hurt for team we were able to figure out the next treatment by. Doing a blood test finding new mutation and switching to and another targeted therapy that just emerged that lets us overcome resistance and get back on track. You mentioned. That you're you're thankful that you found doctor Oxnard and you found Dana Farber on how did you find them. It was by luck I knew I wanted to go to someplace in Boston my. Doctor just randomly called up to Dana Farber and I got to be there I was very lucky I I'd like I said I went. I watched him on a video that he had on. On line and it was just as positive attitude I mean. I walked into that women in the for a walk into the room to into. Room to meet him. I felt like I had a fighting chance and that was something I hadn't felt until probably that day. We have so much opt. Miss and about the difference we can make against this cancer and I just need patience to tap into that because we can make a huge difference it's only tools. And and so I think you know even one visit common in Ted to hear we're doing and think about what we might have down the line you know. We're making history as the up and I don't know her prognosis today because it's getting better every year on ask you about those tools and just from your experience. How they've changed how many more sold to happen in that box so to speak say compare today to 2009 or 2008 seems like it's. Toll it is expanding constant if you think it doesn't FDA approvals just in the past year. I won't deny some of the tools are first upsets of the disease and that's the whole process of substance and disease and all these different groups. That benefit from different tools but but the fact that it's happening. For all our patients the fact that I can say. Our next step could be this could be this could be this and we're gonna roster through these tools to make this into livable illness it's really. The pace is accelerating and that and the researchers making headway. Genie of as your question about your relationship with dock dock side because if I can read the room here it seems like. On border and on friendship legacy might you have a real. Report with each other and they views I respect him greatly who really do and I'm. Grateful for him and other doctors that Dana Farber and they're really making this difference for people like me you. At this stage four disease. Didn't have much to look forward to at one point an active is that it like part of the approach that it's more than. You know treating the disease that. You have to keep recognize and it's a it's a human being so afraid and end it comes to visit with also to just. She's looked up WebMD which is your right is the worst thing you can compare. I I ran into a patient of mine act like the Baltimore airport get stage four lung countries like looks like a normal guy is on a business trip and on site. Fact that I can give that my patience and let them just go about their life is it just it's it's fantastic. I have to agree with that because I never thought I could look like this I mean I thought chemotherapy was going to be you know so difficult to go through and the targeted therapies have made so much difference I mean I live my life just as I normally would if I didn't have cancer. I don't think people that know me or even meet me with everything that. This person has stage four lung cancer. We were talking about this yesterday this is the fifteenth annual Jimmy Fund radio telethon and and I think back to when we first started this. And Michael was asking me what was the biggest difference in you know the biggest differences is optimism. It is so much different now. You know when we were talking to people fifteen years ago. It was so it was a little more Graham it was a little more somber doctorates spotlight that anymore. Every patient can has it and I'm not saying it works out for everyone. But everyone has a chance to tap into that that that you could be the one to have an amazing benefit. And he and Ted had a cancer melt away and it's not with this treatment than with a clinical trial it's around the corner. And and I think not everyone out there with cancer. Guess it's happened that but I come to camp Harvard there's a chance that that that we can make happen for you and that's we're trying to create for one. I can't imagine you having that day doctor I have ever seem like kind of like like dragging or anything I don't know. I can imagine you're sleeping they have. Phillips there are ups and downs and is it true that try to put good days together and make him any good weeks and good months ended years but serious question for you how much at times a year he's been in research and that's the passion of yours as well if it. Would it be six months of the years at least you know how much I I spend idea weakened clinic and the rest of my week. Is thinking about how to make lung cancer treatments better and that includes time in the car and time in the shower and most of my free time I just you know on the creative opportunity to make a difference for my patients. And that's why the clip is so important that feeds into the ideas we developed and then. Motivates me to try and make it better got a notebooks or microphone right now you know close in the shower you have an idea and it hit yourself area no voice recorder tells elf yeah yeah. Last question for me Jeannie have you allowing yourself now to make long term plans. And he turned a corner I do I've got some plans to go visit Germany maybe in the summer and we're thinking about Greece and a maybe a year and a half or so and who knows what's gonna happen after that we just relive. My goal is to sit with my husband every morning papers mourn many mornings as I can't miss it have coffee and talk to him because that's what my life is. Is really about is being with my family my friends and my husband is he just been very supportive and we. Take every day that every opportunity we can't sit together in just. Sit and have coffee and talk and that's the best thing in the world for me. Nobody could have put that better. Perfect Jeanine it's great to meet them thank you very much Kathy good to see you too I know I should call you doctor rock hard but you sound like Jeff Jimmie and just and you said when we knew when we introduced to each other. I'm Jeff so it's great to see you guys thank you very much and thanks for being let us.

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