Reports from ASCO, 2010

The annual meeting of ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncologists) is this weekend, and Crizotinib is attracting some attention. Today the plenary session will include accumulated data from the PF-02341066 trial and already there are several online articles in which Crizotinib is discussed.

Medpage has a video interview with the PI (Principal Investigator) of the trial, Dr. Alice Shaw.  She is also my oncologist.

A reporter from Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to me some weeks ago, and today there is an online story about Crizotinib which mentions some of my own experience on trial.

And the Sunday New York Times featured an article in today’s paper that references two promising new cancer therapies; Crizotinib is one of them.

It’s really very exciting to witness and to have been fortunate enough to have participated in what I hope is merely the groundswell of a new era in cancer treatment. That this innovation should also be happening in lung cancer, the cancer that kills more people than all other cancers and which has been notoriously difficult to treat at all but the earliest stages, well, hallelujah.

15 responses to “Reports from ASCO, 2010

  1. Linnea (from NY)

    I am thinking of you always…even though I don’t always post. I, too, have been busy with my daughters and their end of year activities. I did see 1066 mentioned on ABC news Friday evening and it was wonderful to see interest and mention of lung cancer on the national news. The oil spill is really bothering me now…..I feel for the families of the 11 who lost their lives and for all the other families, businesses and wild life who are impacted by this tragedy. I will try to research the outcome of the ASCO mtg. It’s always interesting to read about the latest drugs available to beat cancer. I will be thinking of you tomorrow when you meet with Dr. Shaw again (I believe it’s tomorrow). Stay well, Stay strong! Take Care, Linnea (NY)

    • Linnea! Howdy–I too am troubled by the oil spill. 48 days and counting. Pictures of the sea birds covered in oil are simply heartbreaking. Anyway, good to hear from you and you stay strong as well. Linnea

  2. Thanks for the post! I knew I could count on you.
    I found the story on Bloomberg Businessweek very interesting. For us with cancer, the development of a new drug is a matter of life and death, but for a drug company, it’s just a matter of making money. But, if they could make an effective drug, we the patients will live longer and they will make lots of money, therefore it’s a win-win situation. So, “Go for it!”, drug companies!

    • Yuki, what’s good for us is good for them and vice versa. We’ll have to take it. Love, Linnea (I prefer lots of life to lots of money, don’t you?)

  3. May it be the Mother of all groundswells!

  4. Enjoying a lovely day until I opened email from Oncology Scans Journals and
    from Lancet Oncology May 2010 read that my current treatment for NSCLC with erlotinib (tarceva) at $90 per daily pill was tested for 1 year in “selected” patients that did not progress after 4 cycles of platinum chemotherapy: “median Progression Free Survival was significantly longer with erlotinib than with placebo: 12•3 weeks for patients in the erlotinib group versus 11•1 weeks for those in the placebo group”
    “Maintenance therapy with erlotinib for patients with NSCLC is well tolerated and significantly prolongs PFS compared with placebo.
    First-line maintenance with erlotinib could be considered in patients who do not progress after 4 cycles of chemotherapy.” ???

    What do you think? Over $30,000 cost with poor quality of life for 1.2 weeks extra PFS.

    I am not the ideal patient, suffered and my cancer progressed with chemotherapy.

    I dream of a better system with option for the patient to take half the money and go cruising! Not acceptable, Everybody happy except the drug companies…

    Spanish thinking reminds me of a touching version of the Peanut vendor song. when a marimba trio played and sang for me and tourists eating and drinking non stop

    “Tanta miseria por un medio mani, tanta miseria por un medio mani” meaning “So much misery for half a peanut, so much misery for half a peanut”…

    Related words for state of the art cancer treatments are “manicomio” = madhouse, “manirroto”= spendthrift
    “repugnant” = ASCO = Chemotherapy

    I rather be sailing.

  5. Guillermo,
    That’s the problem with stats and studies, no? I too question the cost of Tarceva versus daily life – and my status is very good and my recurrence has been held in check since last September. How do we price the value of a day in our life?

    (PS, retail price for the pill here is $150 each, but I don’t have to pay it, so I don’t have to make the choice.)

  6. Many short comments, many in 3 words:
    Love is blind.
    Love is bold.
    Linnea love’s picture.
    Love you too.
    Love to complain.
    Complainers live longer.
    Like success histories.
    My wife Beryl was going to dinner with “girl” friends and I had to comment on “significantly” extending PFS for peanuts. One said I live with a 20 years cancer survivor.
    Must have hope.
    (Her husband had brain cancer.) Another said: Love your hair!
    Feel much better.
    Out of sight,
    Out of mind.
    (Blind and cracy).

    I hope I can sale my free Can$90 pills for US$150 and get Vitamin D sailing in the sun.

    Is midnight and my daughter’s dog choose to sleep at my feet.
    First smell love.

  7. I have been busy reading all the articles on crizotinib. They are all the same, quoting the same doctors and the same statistics. I, however, want to read them all, somehow feeling more fortified by the repetition. I have also been busy reading your posts prior to discovering you. They are all so wonderful. I also read all of the responses. I would not ever want to miss a reply by Guillermo or from your daughter or from any of the others. I think in effect there has been created a “virtual support group”! Sometimes the posts make me smile, sometimes cry, and sometimes even cry and they all make me think and feel. All is good. Thank you for making this happen.

    • Evie, I’m so glad you’ve gone back and read the comments. Because of them, and the participation of readers (such as yourself!), the blog has taken on a life of its own. I like your description, as I really do feel that there is this community of people out there; wonderful, wonderful people who are geographically distant and yet moments away. The positive potential of the internet realized. Thank you for being part of this community. Linnea

  8. Hi Linnea,
    I’ve visited here a couple of times and came back due to the PF-02341066/Crizotinib news from ASCO 2010. I’m very surprised and disappointed with your relapse 😦 However your attitude, drive, and will to live is phenomenal (and something I can relate to). I was reminded today that profit drives the engine that develops therapeutics, so have hope—those bankers are pushing as hard as they can for more moneymaking drugs!

    I’m Stage IV adenocarcinoma…a big outdoorsperson like yourself, and hopping from rock to rock. I’m on Tarceva single agent now, after 1st line Carbo/Gemzar & 2nd line Alimta/Tarceva. I went off tx last year for 5 months due to NED, and went back on Tarceva at progression. Haven’t had testing but being on a TKI for >2 years, I’m probably EGFR+. I’m anxiously searching for the next rock to hop onto, probably some time this year. 4 year anniversary of diagnosis is 6/15. I’ll be thinking of you (and raising a glass, liver be damned).

    Hang in there—living is the best revenge ;).


    • Jasmin, I sometimes have to remind my family members that as important as my survival is to us personally, in the pharmacology world, I am insignificant. I get that though, and wish the pharmaceuticals all the best (good for us as well).

      Congratulations on four years. I’ll raise a glass to you on Tuesday (heck, I’ll start tonight), and wish for you continued hope, joy and perseverance. To life! Linnea

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