Feist-Weiller Cancer Center presents lung cancer treatment update

Nov 11, 2015

A novel clinical trial to treat lung cancer will be one item discussed Friday at a community information event at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport.

Feist-Weiller physician assistant Cheryl Duncan says helping patients navigate the emotional roller coaster of battling cancer is the rewarding part of her job. Her talk is titled "After treatment... what?"
Credit Kate Archer Kent

Lung cancer is the most deadly type of cancer nationwide. A new clinical trial called Lung-MAP is one of more than 60 cancer research trials underway at LSU Health Shreveport. Feist-Weiller physician assistant Cheryl Duncan says new medications to treat stage 4 lung cancer came out this year.

“We’ve been waiting and waiting for new therapies. We finally had some breakthroughs that we’re very excited about. This genetic profiling to find possible new drugs is the wave of oncology and lung cancer is very involved in that treatment,” Duncan said.

Personalized medicine is a big research field, according to John Rowell, director of the clinical research office at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. He says several trials involve genetic profiling.

“Normally, when you treat cancer you do it with more of a shotgun-type approach. You use different medications and hope they work. It’s all based on research that’s been proven it does work for most people,” Rowell said. “But, when you personalize the medicine, you look at the genetic makeup of the tumor and you personalize the medicine to directly treat the genetic makeup.”

Feist-Weiller director of clinical research John Rowell says his office is managing more than 60 trials with about 40 currently enrolling patients.
Credit Kate Archer Kent

Dr. Hazem El-Osta, assistant professor at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, will give a presentation on Lung-MAP and its eligibility requirements.

Duncan is slated to speak about what patients can expect after their treatment is finished. She finds many patients wait too long to see a doctor, and don’t know enough about prevention.

“We find that we diagnose our cancers later in general, including lung cancer. We don’t have as many people who are educated on the lung cancer screening that exists and the causes of lung cancer. Our patients tend to be more advanced and sicker in general in Louisiana, and I think our survival rates reflect that,” Duncan said.

The event, “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer,” is set for Friday, Nov. 13, at noon at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, 1405 Kings Highway, fourth floor Tiger Room.

The free event includes lunch. Reservations are encouraged at 318-813-1423. The event is presented in partnership with the Lung Cancer Alliance as part of lung cancer awareness month.