SAN CARLOS, Calif., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is creating a new patient-focused approach to standard of care for lung cancer with the launch of the Patient 360 Community Hospital Program. The program uses a collaborative, multi-disciplinary model to provide an individualized approach to care, giving the patient access to the newest and most effective diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for their specific needs.
"What we're finding is by using a team approach to individualized care we can begin to incrementally increase the survival rate of people diagnosed with lung cancer," said Bonnie J. Addario, a stage 3B survivor and founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (LCF). "Because 80 percent of patients receive treatment at their local community hospital, these are the centers where the greatest good can be done for the greatest number."
Working with an elite team of pathologists and specialists to create an unsurpassed paradigm for lung cancer treatment, the LCF is in essence creating lung-specific centers of excellence in the community hospital setting. The program ensures that every patient receives molecular testing, combined with a multi-disciplinary team approach and selected treatment options unique to the patient's needs.
"The 360 Program's multidisciplinary approach is unique because it coordinates the standard of care for patients individually, giving each patient what's right for them." Addario said. "So the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the pathologist, the pulmonologist, and the surgeon are all communicating and collaborating, not just with academic, industry and technology, but internally as well."
During the first six months of the pilot stage of the program, preliminary metrics and data have shown that patient outcomes have improved dramatically.
- 100 percent of patients in program have been molecular tested
- Diagnosis to treatment time has improved 77 percent, from an average of 45 days down to 10 days
- 62 percent of patients in program have had tumor board review
- Patient satisfaction is 100 percent = very good
- 26 percent of patients treated are diagnosed at stage 2B or lower
The program is rigid in its standard of treatment. Every patient in the pilot 360 program received molecular testing to better determine personalized treatments, as will be the case for all future patients as the program expands to more community hospitals in the coming years. Three new hospitals are expected to enlist by the end of 2013 and 30-50 by the end of 2015.
The program's process focuses on early detection, diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring, and patient follow up. Critical in the program's standard of care is ensuring all patients receive molecular testing, which uses DNA, RNA and proteins to test for specific states of disease. In lung cancer, molecular testing is used to determine potential patient response to targeted therapy.
The LCF has received generous support from a number of distinguished industry partners, including GE Healthcare, Pfizer and Boehringer-Ingelheim. GE Healthcare provided in-kind services from its oncology solutions division to help create the program's flow and metrics. The LCF is working with Boehringer-Ingelheim and Pfizer in partnership to broaden the overall awareness of multi-disciplinary collaborations that incorporate personalized testing to initiate timely and appropriate lung cancer treatments. Boehringer-Ingelheim also leads the letstestnow.com campaign, set up to improve patient outcomes through a multidisciplinary approach to biomarker testing in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
"Every community hospital that joins us and implements this new multi-disciplinary, patient-centric approach to standard of care will be given a formal seal of excellence awarded by the LCF, signifying that no lung cancer patient is left behind," Addario said.
The pilot program launches during a time when an estimated 228,190 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. The American Cancer Society also estimates 159,480 Americans will die from the disease this year.
The facts about Lung Cancer cannot continue to go unnoticed:
- In the last 45 years 50 million people worldwide have died from lung cancer.
- Every day 450 more die, 19 every hour and one every three minutes will die in the US and 1.4 million worldwide every year.
- It is the leading cancer killer in every ethnic group, and since 1987 lung cancer has killed more women every year than breast cancer.
- Yet the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 15.7 percent, and it has remained unchanged for more than 40 years.
- This staggering loss of life has gone unnoticed too long, and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is on a mission to change that.
- The LCF funds clinical research that leads to life-saving discoveries and treatments and provides critical support services and educational programs to empower patients and create hope.
"The Foundation is powering progress through ground-up initiatives, educating patients to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change," Addario said. "The LCF is empowering patients to take a seat at the table wherever discussions are being made about their care. We are committed to improving the standard of care and believe that chronically managed lung cancer using molecular testing to determine personalized therapies is the future of lung cancer treatment and the pathway to increasing the survival rate."
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $10 million for lung cancer research.
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation