New treatment for lung cancer

Health Watch

Jim Brown was part of a clinical trial that changed lung cancer treatment for many patients.

Rider, snowboarder, climber Jim Brown still tears it up on his electronic mountain bike. Today with daughter, Isabella.

Jim Brown said, “I’m the last person in the world that people would think would get lung cancer. And it was pretty shocking.”

Carcinogen exposure from Jim’s 25-year fire fighting career is blamed for his stage four Adenocarcinoma Lung cancer, diagnosed in 2015.

He enrolled in keynote 21, a trial that added keytruda to standard chemo for some participants. He didn’t get the keytruda, but the chemo kept his disease stable for 22 months.

Doctor Christina Baik helped with the combination drug trial, which became the standard of care for many lung cancer patients last year.

Christina S. Baik MD, MPH, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington School of Medicine said, “All patients who don’t have a specific genetic mutation are receiving this drug combination of chemo and pembrolizumab as first treatment.”

Jim does have a genetic mutation. He entered a trial for Lorlatinib, a targeted drug that got FDA approval soon after.

Jim Brown said, “It’s progression of medicine, and unless people are willing to do clinical trials, we can’t move forward.”

Doctor Baik said, “This is a mechanism by which patients are getting treatment of tomorrow. I think that’s one thing that we like to say here, that you’re getting a treatment of tomorrow.”

Jim is already in another trial comparing blood markers to c-t scans to track disease progression.

Jim is still working in the firehouse.

Doctor Baik says many patients don’t benefit from these drug combinations, so there’s lots of room for research there.

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