DontGuessTest campaign screenshot crop640

Website screenshot featuring Jeff Julian, stage IV lung cancer survivor and former US National Swim Team member. Photo courtesy Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

A campaign and website to encourage people with lung cancer and their physicians was recently launched to educate and highlight the importance of comprehensive genomic testing for lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among both men and women, accounting for one out of four cancer deaths. The development of targeted therapies—medicines designed to address the underlying genomic drivers of cancer—has revolutionized the treatment of lung cancer; however, there is an inherent need to match the right treatment to patients based on their specific genomic makeup.

Launched by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, Mass, the “Don’t Guess. Test.” campaign provides patients and their physicians with information about the rapidly evolving genomic understanding of lung cancer, targeted therapy options, and comprehensive genomic testing. The campaign is focused on empowering patients with lung cancer and their caregivers to initiate a dialogue with their physicians about comprehensive genomic testing and its potential to expand treatment options for the patient.

Bonnie J. Addario, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

Bonnie J. Addario, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

“Each lung cancer is unique, like a fingerprint, and no two people have the same exact type,” says Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and founder. “There are modern, effective treatments available and important clinical trials for new targeted therapies, but making treatment decisions without knowing the specific genomics of your cancer is a little like playing darts while blindfolded.

“A comprehensive approach to genomic testing, or identifying targetable molecular markers, can ensure that patients and their doctors have the most information to make the best treatment decision,” she adds. “That’s why we tell people, ‘Don’t guess; test.’”

In related news, Addario recently commented on the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which allocates funding for research in science and medicine and aims to speed the development of new treatments for cancer and other chronic diseases.

“In the time since I was diagnosed and ultimately survived lung cancer, I have dedicated the last decade of my life to ground-breaking research and prioritizing the patient perspective,” Addario says. “Greater investment in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative and Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative heartens us as those who deal with cancer everyday. The medical and research community is finally embracing new treatments and the communal sharing of information for the benefit of patients everywhere. The research advancements of 2016 assure us that we are headed into a time with no limits as to what science can do, and we can look forward to a day when lung cancer will be a managed disease.”

For more information, visit the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.