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Biomarker testing story

Jane was diagnosed with advanced NSCLC and treated with medicine for EGFR-positive mutation.
San Rafael, CA

We asked Jane to share her story with Pfizer

We asked Jane to share her story with Pfizer

I am Jane and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have been married 38 years and have 3 terrific adult children. My passion has been traveling the world – from Europe to Southeast Asia to Disneyland with my granddaughter and everywhere in between!

A couple years ago, I began having chest pains and a cough. At first, I was misdiagnosed with allergies, then asthma, then pneumonia. I had always lived an active, healthy life, so lung cancer was not on anyone’s radar.

Finally, I had a CT scan that found a mass in my left lung. I was stunned to learn in August 2010 that I had incurable lung cancer. I now know that if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer.

During my initial visit to the oncologist, I found out I was inoperable and had Stage IV disease. The recommended treatment course for me at that point was chemotherapy.

My doctor let me know that they were having success treating lung cancer by doing molecular testing to find out the unique genetic mutations of patients’ tumors. After my initial course of chemo, I had a biopsy to get a tumor sample for molecular testing. I was lucky to have an identifiable mutation that already had an FDA-approved treatment, and was put on a treatment targeted toward my particular molecular profile.

Molecular testing meant that the doctor would have a good understanding of the nature of my cancer and how to treat it. No guessing. Without molecular profiling and biomarkers, my medical team would have to work without a road map.

I’m enrolled in a clinical trial, and as part of that, my tumors are studied in mice. As science and research advance, clinical studies can help determine what future options may work for specific types of lung cancer. Your genetic profile is important information that may be helpful for your immediate and future treatment.

February 2012