The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation's Fifth Annual 'Addario Lectureship Award' Announced

Jun 05, 2012, 05:00 ET from Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Award to Recognize Luminaries in the Quest to Eradicate Lung Cancer

SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF) today announced the winner of the 2012 Addario Lectureship Award, which each year recognizes luminaries in the quest to eradicate Lung Cancer. The recipient will be honored at the 13th International Lung Cancer Congress in Huntington Beach, California to be held on July 19-22, 2012.

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2012 Addario Lectureship Award — The recipient of the 2012 Addario Lectureship award is D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD. His 2012 lecture is entitled "Rediscovering Lung Cancer."

Dr. Camidge received his medical degree from Oxford University, UK and his PhD, in Molecular Biology, from Cambridge University, UK. He then dual-trained in both Medical Oncology and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, UK. In November 2005 he was recruited from the UK as visiting faculty at the University of Colorado, becoming full-time faculty in October 2007. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Program at the University of Colorado. His clinical research interests include optimizing the development of new agents through personalized medicine and a strong desire to increase the number of lung cancer patients getting access to the newest drugs within clinical trials. By spotting signs of any drug's clinical activity or toxicity early on in a particular patient group, one goal is to accelerate the drug's development as safely and efficiently as possible within the appropriate patient/molecular subtype population. In addition, by molecularly profiling patients, novel clinical patterns in terms of the natural history of different molecular subtypes of the disease, and their response to specific therapies can be identified that might otherwise be missed when only looking at the broader lung cancer population.

From 2009, the University of Colorado's Thoracic Oncology Program has been recruiting 30-40% of its patients onto clinical trials, approximately 10 times the national average. Since 2008, routine molecular profiling of lung cancer patients has also allowed patients to be directed to more promising treatments based on their cancer's individual molecular biology. Notable recent successes include the early establishment of ALK gene rearranged lung cancer as a valid target for ALK inhibitors in the clinic; the detailed exploration of the FISH assay used to detect ALK positive patients to show that ALK gene rearrangements happen early in tumorigenesis; the discovery that ALK positive lung cancer is associated with a characteristic pattern of metastatic spread including the development of pericardial disease; the discovery that ALK positive lung cancer manifests exaggerated sensitivity to pemetrexed; the discovery that ALK positive patients manifest a broad array of different resistance mechanisms to crizotinib including switching to subclones driven by either KRAS or EGFR mutations and the discovery of rapid onset hypogonadism secondary to the use of crizotinib in men, driving the introduction of a simple routine blood test and testosterone replacement to improve the tolerability of this drug in everyday clinical practice.

According to Dr Camidge, some of the surest paths to progress in lung cancer are going to be about changing the way we think. In 2012, Dr Camidge co-authored with Dr. Jack West an opinion piece for the Journal of Thoracic Oncology entitled 'Have Mutation, Will Travel', highlighting multiple strategies to address the challenges that patients and physicians now face in getting access to/or conducting clinical research with the most promising experimental drugs in the era of increasingly diverse molecular oncology. With Dr. Adam Atherly, a health economist, he also published on the perils of pricing individual diagnostic tests too high when the abnormality looked for is very rare, and on the human cost of missing patients when clinical profiling is used to preselect who should be tested, or not tested, for specific molecular subtypes of any disease. In the same year, at ASCO, the Colorado group showed that the first site of cancer progression on crizotinib occurs in the brain in nearly 50% of ALK positive patients. In addition to using this information to push for standardized brain imaging on treatment, Dr. Camidge's team also showed that if you treated the cancer growing in the brain with radiotherapy and kept the drug going, you could maintain systemic control for months longer. They also showed that you could do the same thing in the body if only a few sites were growing on the drug, using close surveillance and focused radiation treatment to delete sites of so-called 'oligoprogressive disease' as if they were weeds in a garden. Utilizing the advances generated in understanding the molecular biology of drug sensitivity and resistance and combining them with advances in tumor imaging and radiation therapy to use a targeted agent to its full extent may change the way we view acquired resistance in the clinic and change the way we give many targeted treatments in the future.

What does Dr. Camidge's Work Mean for BJALCF Patients?
Dr. Camidge truly understands that Lung Cancer is not just one disease and when it comes to treatment, he believes "One size doesn't fit all." He is a relentless advocate of molecular testing, redefining the standard of care for Lung Cancer, and aligning Lung Cancer patients with targeted treatment regimens. Dr. Camidge works around-the-clock on breakthrough research projects striving to and making discoveries that change patient outcomes. "In order to treat any disease successfully, you have to know what you are really treating," says Camidge. "It is only by understanding Lung Cancer better that we can hope to improve outcomes."

Bonnie J. Addario, Founder and 8-year survivor says, "I have admired Ross since the moment we met. For the fifth year in a row, I couldn't be more proud to see someone so deserving of this award–just as the past recipients he now stands with. I am humbled when I hear our patients speak of the way Ross takes care of them, the extra miles he goes to treat each individual patient in his care, and their families. I am even more excited about his desire to bring Lung Cancer to an end through untiring research and the search for the cure."

2008 Recipient: Paul A. Bunn, Jr. MD, Principal Investigator and Director, University of Colorado Cancer Center
2009 Recipient: Harvey Pass, MD, BA, Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Chief of Thoracic Surgery, New York University Medical Center
2010 Recipient: David R. Gandara, MD, Associate Director, Clinical Research, UC Davis Cancer Center
2011 Recipient: William Pao, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, Director, Personalized Cancer Medicine, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF)
BJALCF is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, 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 6, 2006 as a 501©(3) non-profit organization and has raised over nine million dollars for Lung Cancer research.

SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation