Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Research in Your Backyard - NJ

PhRMA ( the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) released their report on clinical trials in NJ today. Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in New Jersey (RIYB)was presented at a Roundtable event co-hosted by the  HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ)  and We Work for Health NJ (WWFH-NJ) at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  I attended the event and was honored to share my experience with clinical trials with those in attendance. 

Below are highlights from the report presented by Emma Van Hook, Directory of Policy & Research, PhRMA :
  • Since 2004 there have been 4,967 clinical trials completed in NJ. 
  • There were 314 cancer clinical trials during that time period. 
  • 25,127 New Jersey patients participate in clinical trials around the state, generating $617 million in economic growth.
  • The average cost of developing a new drug is ~ 2.6 billion dollars. 
  • Half of the cost of developing drugs ( ~$1.3B) is clinical trials.  
  • The biopharmaceutical industry supported more than 378,000 jobs in NJ.
For more report details please see:

Dean Paranicas, President and CEO of Healthcare Institute of New Jersey shared information on the biopharmaceutical industry in NJ.
  • New Jersey is home to more than 3000 life sciences companies. 
  • Thirteen of the top 20 research-based biopharmaceutical companies in the world are headquartered or have a significant presence in NJ. 
  • There is a long history of collaboration between local academic and health care institutions in the state.
  • It takes 8-12 years to develop a drug, complete clinical trials and receive FDA approval.
  • 12% of drugs that start the development process are successful.
You can find additional information at

Additional speakers included Michele Sharr, Director, Oncology/Hematology, Celgene Corporation who spoke on Industry Research in NJ and Shridar Ganesan, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Director for Translational Science and Chief, Molecular Oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jerseywho spoke about A View of Academic Research in NJ.

"Clinical trials are beneficial to patients, the economy and science. "- RIYB
I have been blessed with almost 12 years of survivorship and participating in clinical trials has been an important part of the survivorship.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our Way F>>ward - Survey Summary

Between April and May of 2017 a survey was conducted online on behalf of TESARO, Inc. by the Harris Poll. This One Way Forward survey included 254 women living with ovarian cancer and 232 physicians who treat ovarian cancer patients. The survey was developed with input from OCRFA and NOCC.

Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • 53% of the women said their diagnosis had a severe or very severe impact on their lives.                                                           
  • 87% of the women who had experienced a recurrence said the thought of cancer returning was overwhelming 
  • 34% of the health care providers were unsure if or did not feel that they give their ovarian cancer patients all the information they need  about Ovarian Cancer

Most interesting to me was the survey results when it came to communication.

  • 91% of health care providers said they discuss expectations of treatment often or at every visit while 40% of the patients reported they had the discussion.                                                      
  • 69% of health care providers said they discussed recurrence often or at every visit while  38% of the patients said they discussed recurrence often or at every visit.

It appears that we have a ways to go to make sure patients have the information and support we need, when we need it most. 

You may find additional information on the website

Every Day is a Blessing! Thank you TESARO for researching the needs of the ovarian cancer community.  


Monday, June 5, 2017

#ASCO17 Twitter Highlights

I was not able to attend this year's ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago so instead I followed the latest oncology news from the meeting via Twitter (#ASCO17).  I appreciate all the attendees who used the #gyncsm hashtag too.

Below find the tweets I found most interesting in the areas of gynecologic cancers, social media and survivorship.

Let's start first with how to read cancer related news:
Patient Reported Outcomes Leads to Improved survival
Impact of HPV vaccinations:

PD-1 Pathways in Gynecologic Cancers: 

Progress in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer:

Liquid Biopsy

Parp Inhibitors in Ovarian Cancer:

Resection of Recurrent OC:

"ICON6 is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with cediranib in women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer . Cediranib is an oral targeted small molecule inhibitor of a key signalling molecule Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) which is an oral inhibitor of tyrosine kinase (TK) activity and acts through blockade of the TK receptor. Cediranib (AZD2171)" source :

OC risk reduction w/ BRCA mutation:

BRCA testing - ovarian cancer:

Endometrial Cancer and Genetic Testing:
Homologous Recombination Deficiency:

Germline Testing:

Abstract 1524

from this study


Screening for OC:

Fallopian Tube /Ovarian Cancer:

Based on this study:

Social Media:

session description-
Li-Fraumeni Syndrome:

Cost of Care:

I hope I'll get the opportunity to report live from ASCO 2018.

Every Day is a Blessing!