Personalizing Therapy for the Treatment of Patients with Lung Cancer

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Topics include: Treatment

The advancement of personalized medicine is changing the approach to lung cancer treatment--and leading to more effective results. In this podcast, Dr. Melissa Johnson explains the latest developments in targeted therapies and the advantages of multidisciplinary care. Dr. Johnson’s patient, Ruth, joins the conversation to share how she has benefited from therapies tailored specifically to her tumor.

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Well, I think you know that our most common, the most deadly cancer, is lung cancer, and it is just way too common, unfortunately.  It affects people who have never smoked as well as, of course, people who have smoked and smoked a lot or have been affected by secondhand smoke, and we’re trying to do better in tailoring our therapy to exactly the type of lung cancer that a patient has to give them the best hope for a longer life. 

I want to have you meet someone who has been dealing with that who wants to talk about her situation, and I think it’s inspiring for others, and also meet her doctor at Northwestern Memorial, understand that she’s part of a whole multidisciplinary team aimed at bringing a lot of modalities together to help people with lung cancer.  We’re going to learn about that during our program. 

So let’s meet Ruth Ashton.  She lives right outside Chicago in Oak Park.  She’s 46 years old.  She has two grown daughters, and they’ve given her three grandchildren with another one on the way.  Ruth works at Loyola in the graduate school there.  And, Ruth, you have a graduate degree yourself in sociology, right? 


So let’s continue with Dr. Johnson for a second.  She’s an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  She’s a thoracic oncologist, so she’s a lung cancer medical oncologist, a specialist in that.  So let’s just get into that word, “phenomenal.”  So that’s the trick, isn’t it, to see what modalities and in this case drug therapies will work for which patient and when it’s a win like this and it can knock the cancer back, as you say, it’s phenomenal. 

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Page last updated on December 28, 2013