A Lung Cancer Patient Interviews His Doctor

Earlier this month at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, seven-year lung cancer survivor Randy Broad sat down to interview his doctor, SCCA′s Dr. Renato Martins. Randy asked Dr. Martins to talk about the big news at this year’s ASCO meeting—immunotherapy. Dr. Martins is most impressed with some of response rates that are being reported—up to 60 percent for a recent trial of melanoma patients—and explains how he and his colleagues will be “busy for years to come” better understanding two new classes of immunotherapy drugs, checkpoint inhibitors and stimulatory molecules. Dr. Martins and Randy also explore the pros and cons associated with participating in a clinical trial.

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    Five Minutes With Heidi Trott

    Heidi Trott is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) specializing in breast oncology and women’s health. She has been a nurse for 30 years working in a variety disciplines including medical-surgical nursing, gynecology, community nursing, nursing administration, and teaching. She completed her nurse practitioner studies at the University of Washington and has been practicing here at SCCA for over seven years. heidi-trott-225Heidi’s route to SCCA has been a long one. Her Polish father and German mother emigrated from Europe to England’s West Country after World War II. She was born in Stroud and went to nursing school at King’s College in London. Soon after college she met her husband–then an American serviceman–in Germany and came to the United States in 1984. Together they have a son and a daughter and a cat named Tiger Lily.

    What’s the last book you read?
    I’m rereading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

    What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    I enjoy making all kinds of crafts, especially scrapbooks. I am very interested in genealogy, travel, gardening, and having lots of fun with my family and friends.

    Do you have a personal motto?
    Many come to mind but the ones that stand out are “Never, never, never give up” (Winston Churchill), and “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” (Mary Poppins). The latter is deeper than it appears. Kindness goes a long way, and as health care providers we sometimes underestimate how meaningful that is to patients. If you can connect and show patients some empathy, you can get them through some very difficult times.search-for-meaning

    Who is the person you most admire?
    There are so many people throughout my life I’ve admired. Collectively, I admire the resilience and steadfastness of my family during adversity. This has been a common thread through many generations. My grandfather was a Polish prisoner-of-war in World War I in Siberia. After the Bolshevik Revolution, he somehow made it back to his home in Poland on foot! Both of my parents lived through the experience of Nazi Germany. In recent years, my wonderful husband, daughter, and son have carried me through some very tough times. The power of the human spirit is incredible and something I see every day in my patients.

    What is your favorite place to go in Seattle?
    I love visiting Pike Place Market, it never gets old.

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    All the places I’ve yet to visit like Australia, Italy, and Greece. I’d also like to return to Poland and Amsterdam.crab-150

    What is your favorite restaurant?
    Anywhere that serves fresh crab–Anthony’s in Des Moines comes to mind.

    Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?
    I’d have to say Seahawks, but mainly because of Russell Wilson as I don’t understand American football at all (I understand European football better). I wish Russell Wilson would visit SCCA. But really, my favorite team is Manchester United.

    Nike, Adidas, or Puma?
    Adidas and Puma began in the small Bavarian town my Mother was from, as the result of two feuding brothers. In the town, you’re either an Adidas person or a Puma person and never the twain shall meet. I am an Adidas person, but don’t tell my uncle!

    What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t a nurse practitioner?
    Stand-up comedian or police interrogator, especially the latter. I’m known for being able to easily get information from people in a nice setting, and I think I could do it in a difficult setting as well.

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      SCCA Clinical Trial Openings

      stemcellsListed below are clinical trials that have opened at SCCA in the last several weeks. These trials are looking at new treatments for patients with renal cell carcinoma, lymphoma, breast cancer, non small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma, and multiple myeloma. Check out our website to learn about the more than 200 ongoing clinical trials at SCCA, and follow us on Twitter at @SCCA_Trials  for information about recently opened trials.

      SGN-CD70A for CD70-Positive Malignancies
      A Phase 1 Trial of SGN-CD70A in Patients With CD70-Positive Malignancies

      CMB305 for Locally Advanced, Relapsed, or Metastatic Cancer Expressing NY-ESO-1
      A Phase 1b Study Evaluating the Safety, Tolerability and Immunogenicity of CMB305 (Sequentially Administered LV305 and G305) in Patients With Locally Advanced, Relapsed, or Metastatic Cancer Expressing NY-ESO-1

      Nab-Paclitaxel Chemotherapy + Nivolumab for Pancreatic Cancer, NSCLC, and Metastatic Breast Cancer
      A Phase 1, Open-Label, Multicenter, Safety Study of Nivolumab (BMS-936558) in Combination With Nab-Paclitaxel Plus or Minus Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Cancer, Nab-Paclitaxel / Carboplatin in Stage IIIB/IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer or Nab-Paclitaxel in Recurrent Metastatic Breast Cancer

      Nivolumab vs Bevacizumab and Nivolumab w/wo Ipilimumab for Glioblastoma (20140894)
      A Randomized Phase IIB Open Label Study of Nivolumab or Nivolumab in Combination with Ipilimumab versus Bevacizumab in Adult Subjects with Recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM)

      GSK2857916 for Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma (20142069)
      A Phase I Open-label, Dose Escalation Study to Investigate the Safety, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Immunogenicity and Clinical Activity of the Antibody Drug Conjugate GSK2857916 in Subjects with Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma and Other Advanced Hematologic Malignancies Expressing BCMA

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        SCCA/Starbucks Cycling Up Close and in Action

        If you want to see the SCCA/Starbucks Cycling Team up close and in action, your chance is coming this Saturday, June 6, at the Ballard Criterium. Our riders will compete with other teams in a one kilometer loop through the most hip part of downtown Ballard. Races start at 2:00pm and continue into the evening, ending with the pro men’s race, which starts at 7:30pm.

        ballard-criterium-with-creditCriteriums are very spectator-friendly events. Because of the short distance, racers will pass by every few minutes. Each race starts with a countdown clock. Once the clock reaches a certain point, the race changes to number of laps left. Every so often, the race director will entice racers with primes (pronounced ‘preems’). Primes are merchandise or cash prizes given to whoever crosses the line first for the specified lap. Primes help to shake things up in the peloton and complicate race tactics as the prime may be worth more than winning the criterium itself.

        When you’re spectating, make sure to stand back from the curb and pay attention when crossing the street. Criteriums offer an excellent chance to watch racers handle their bikes as they go around tight corners. Cowbells are encouraged, but please make sure to stand a good distance away from the start/finish line as the race director also uses a cowbell to announce primes and to signify the last lap of each race.

        cowbellAlso, SCCA/Starbucks Cycling has been on a roll this spring. Checkout how the team has been doing here! And we’ll see you Saturday in Ballard!

        Lindsay Nofziger is a member of the SCCA/Starbucks Cycling Team. Her day job is Senior Research Technician at Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute in Seattle.

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          SCCA Cancer News Watch

          Here’s a quick summary of notable recent health and cancer news:

          New Class of Drugs Shows More Promise in Treating Cancer
          The New York Times reports on progress being made in harnessing the body’s immune system to attack cancer. At this week’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago, widespread attention was given to the results of several studies focused on a new class of drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. Normally the body depends on checkpoints to prevent the immune system from attacking healthy cells. Drugs such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab work by suppressing these checkpoints, thus “releasing the brakes” on the immune system and allowing it to attack cancer cells. The studies reviewed at ASCO showed progress with these inhibitors in treating lung, liver, and head and neck cancer. Read the Times article here. ASCO also received lots of other coverage including articles in The Guardian and in The Washington Post.

          U.S. Melanoma Rate Now Double What it Was 30 Years Ago
          Yesterday the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that showed that the rates of melanoma have doubled in the last 30 years, and that the annual cost of treating melanoma is projected to triple by 2030. While melanoma is one of the most deadliest of cancers, it’s also among the most preventable. And with summer coming, the report is a good reminder to take appropriate precautions when outdoors. Checkout these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology. Read the CDC report here.

          In Other Health and Cancer News
          The Hutch opens cancer research center—9,000 miles away. The National Cancer Institute is planning to open “the largest, most rigorous physician-run oncology trial that’s ever been attempted.” Cancer care at UW gets boost from IBM super computer. chocolateAnd don’t believe everything you read, why a journalist scammed the media into spreading bad chocolate science.


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