Tag Archive for: small cell lung cancer treatment

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Optimizing Team Communication

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Optimizing Team Communication from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can small cell lung cancer team communication be optimized? Expert Beth Sandy from Abramson Cancer Center shares advice for communication between care team members and for setting expectations about symptom management and treatment plans.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…don’t feel afraid or scared to ask the questions that you want the answers to. And if you do, it’s okay to change providers, to be honest with you, because you should have that level of trust and ability to be open with your provider.”

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

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Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer _ Empowering Symptom Management

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How Can Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Ask About Care Goals

Overcoming Small Cell Lung Cancer Care Barriers

Overcoming Small Cell Lung Cancer Care Barriers


Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

So, Beth, how do you facilitate open and transparent communication between oncology nurses, patients, and their families and care partners to address concerns and set realistic expectations to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the symptom management and treatment plans?

Beth Sandy:

Yeah. So again, this is something that happens over time and I think it’s really important for patients to feel comfortable with their providers. If you don’t feel that you can ask your doctor or your nurse practitioner or your nurse, whoever you’re seeing, if you don’t feel comfortable that you can ask questions about your treatment and your disease, that’s a problem. You should have a good relationship with them. I feel like us in oncology as opposed to other fields like dermatology or whatever, I think we have a more personal relationship with them because this is a disease that often they’re dealing with for a long time and we want to make sure that we’re doing what’s best for them, what’s best for the patient.

So sometimes for me, again, I’ll say, how are you tolerating the treatment? Are you in bed a lot at home? Or are you feeling pretty good on the treatment? And then a lot of that too will partially be, well, the treatment is working very well. Are you willing to stay on it based on the side effects you’re having? But for me, it’s so much easier if the patient starts the conversation and says something along the lines of like, “I’m not tolerating this well, I’m not feeling well. Is there something more we can do? Or can we give less chemo?” Patients ask me that all the time.

And then we have a discussion about the pros and cons of that. So everything’s a discussion. Oncology is not black and white. There is gray area that we can work with you to improve your quality and be open about how much you want to know. Do you want to know exact numbers of your chances of survival? Do you want to know exact numbers of exactly how often this exact chemo works for other patients? We can give you those, but we don’t have to. So we really want to, for the most part, always instill hope, because I’ve seen lots and lots of miracles and great stories with patients who have done way better than I ever thought they would. So I would hate to say to someone, oh, this is the average when lots of my patients will do better than that. 

So I think my activation tip here is don’t feel afraid or scared to ask the questions that you want the answers to. And if you do, it’s okay to change providers, to be honest with you, because you should have that level of trust and ability to be open with your provider.


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Coping With Small Cell Lung Cancer Rapid Treatment

Coping With Small Cell Lung Cancer Rapid Treatment from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Small cell lung cancer treatment often must start quickly following diagnosis, so what should patients know? Expert Beth Sandy from Abramson Cancer Center explains the importance of rapid treatment and shares advice to help ensure optimal patient care.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…if you are short of breath or coughing, get to the doctor…If it’s more than a week and over-the-counter medications aren’t helping, go and get worked up because this is very much a curable illness if we can catch it early. So we want to catch this as early as we can, but you have to get to the doctor and get that workup going…if you are diagnosed with this, make sure that your doctor or when you’re calling in to get a new patient appointment, they know this is small cell, not non-small cell. This is small cell lung cancer. It’s a more aggressive type, and you should be seen immediately very quickly to get started on therapy.”

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

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How Can Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer Symptoms Be Managed

Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer _ Empowering Symptom Management

How Can Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Ask About Care Goals

How Can Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Ask About Care Goals


Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

So, Beth, small cell lung cancer spreads quickly, so treatment often needs to start right away. How do you help your patients and their loved ones cope with the rapid changes in their health, both physically and emotionally, and the quick start of the intense treatment they’ll receive?

Beth Sandy:

I can’t stress this enough. As soon as someone is developing symptoms of shortness of breath or a cough, it’s really important to get to the doctor because this type of lung cancer can spread very quickly, but you may not even know you have this. So if you have a cough or shortness of breath, it’s important to get to the doctor. Getting a chest X-ray is really easy. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s something that will show this. Almost nine times out of 10 is going to show if you have this type of lung cancer on just the chest X-ray. So it’s important to get your workup very quickly. That’s the first thing I’ll say.

Once you’re diagnosed with extensive stage small cell lung cancer, it’s very important that you are treated quickly. In my office, if you call and you have this diagnosis, we see you within seven days. This is not something…whereas other cancers, if there’s longer than a seven-day wait, they may get pushed the following week. This is a patient that we will see within the week, because it’s important to get them treated right away. A part of that is because they respond so well. Treatments for small cell lung cancer work very well, especially early on, so we need to get those treatments going very quickly because like you said, this is a very rapidly progressing disease. So I think my activation tip really here for this question is…

Well, two, I have two activations, but the first one is if you are short of breath or coughing, get to the doctor. Don’t just say, “Oh, it’s probably my allergies.” If it’s more than a week and over-the-counter medications aren’t helping, go and get worked up because this is very much a curable illness if we can catch it early. So we want to catch this as early as we can, but you have to get to the doctor and get that workup going. My second activation tip is, like I said, for sure if you are diagnosed with this, make sure that your doctor or when you’re calling in to get a new patient appointment, they know this is small cell, not non-small cell. This is small cell lung cancer. It’s a more aggressive type, and you should be seen immediately very quickly to get started on therapy.


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Understanding Small Cell Lung Cancer Research News and Future Treatments

Understanding Small Cell Lung Cancer Research News and Future Treatments from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What do small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treatment and the future of treatment look like? Expert Dr. Vinicius Ernani from the Mayo Clinic discusses SCLC treatment progress and small cell lung cancer clinical trials including the DeLLphi trial.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

I think stay tuned. This tarlatamab might become, down the road, a new standard of care for our patients.”

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

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Small Cell Lung Cancer Clinical Trials and DeLLphi Study Update

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Woman doctor speaking with woman patient.

Advice for Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Considering Clinical Trials 


Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

And, Dr. Ernani, can you please explain research advancements in immuno-oncology and what this means for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer patients? And how do you envision the treatment landscape evolving over the next five to 10 years? 

Dr. Vinicius Ernani:

Yes. So over the last 30 years, we’ve had multiple Phase II, Phase III trials and, unfortunately, we were not able to move the needle in small cell lung cancer. However, over the last few years with the advancement of immunotherapy and incorporating immunotherapy to the standard carboplatin (Paraplatin) and etoposide (Toposar), we were able to finally make some progress in small cell lung cancer.

So now we know that the standard of care is to give chemotherapy plus immunotherapy, and we have at least three to four randomized Phase III trials showing the benefit of adding immunotherapy to chemotherapy. And I think this is a very exciting time for small cell. We are seeing at least over the last couple of meetings, over the last year, I’ve been seeing at least two promising drugs.

 One is tarlatamab that was the Phase II studies called the DeLLphi trial, was recently presented at ESMO. And there’s also an antibody drug conjugate that has also been very promising in small cell. So we’ll see how these studies are going to play out, especially the antibody drug conjugate, that’s still a Phase I study. So it’s a little bit early, but encouraging response rates. And the tarlatamab, which is a BiTE, and what I mean by BiTE, is a bi T-cell specific engager. I think it’s probably going to be soon approved by the FDA, and I think it’s going to change the standard of care in small cell again.

 Lisa Hatfield:

Dr. Ernani, with regard to the DeLLphi trial, can you explain who that is for and more specifically maybe what the hope is for patients and their families?

Dr. Vinicius Ernani:

Yeah. So the DeLLphi trial was a Phase II study. So usually we have three types of study, right? First, we have the Phase I study. Phase I studies are usually looking at how safe is a drug, but we are not looking too much of how active the drug is. We’re just making sure that the drug is safe to give to the patients. A Phase II study is a little bit bigger than a Phase I, and we are looking still at safety, if the treatment is safe, but we are trying to look a little bit more careful and how active this drug is.

In Phase III, those are usually big studies that randomizes 200, 300, 400 patients to the standard of care compared to the new drug. And that’s usually where we get the FDA approvals. So the DeLLphi-301 trial was a Phase II study that enrolled patients with heavily pretreated small cell lung cancer, extensive stage small cell lung cancer, to receive tarlatamab.

 And they had two doses. It was 10 milligrams and 100 milligrams. And it seems that the 10 milligram cohort, that actually the responses were even better than the 100 milligrams. So we saw the presentation at ESMO, it was actually published in one of the most respected…probably the most respected journal of medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, and there was a response rate of 40 percent. So if we could give tarlatamab for patients that fail at least two lines of treatment, the chances of them responding to tarlatamab is about 40 percent.

And more importantly, I think that the duration of response was greater than six months. So what I mean by that, more than 50 percent of the patients that received this drug, they controlled the cancer for at least six months. So I think that’s a very positive about this drug.

Lisa Hatfield:

Great, thank you. And then one follow-up question I have about that. So if a patient were to come to you or go to their local oncologist and say, I’m really interested, I heard about this DeLLphi trial or any clinical trial, what is the advice you would give to that patient on how to access that clinical trial?

Dr. Vinicius Ernani:

Well, unfortunately, we don’t have at our institution, what I usually help my patients,  I go to clinicaltrials.gov and I type their cancer, and I go over with them on where the trials are open, and we try to find a facility or a cancer center that is close to where they live. So that’s what I usually do when I’m trying to find a clinical trial that I don’t have available in my site.

My activation tip for this question is, again, I think stay tuned. This tarlatamab might become, down the road, a new standard of care for our patients.


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Starting Time-Sensitive Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment

Starting Time-Sensitive Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Some small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treatment calls for time-sensitive treatment. Expert Dr. Vinicius Ernani from the Mayo Clinic shares how he works with patients who will most likely have optimal results with prompt treatment and advice for patients considering rapid treatment.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…at least give the treatment a try. I think that you’re going to be positively surprised that you’re going to feel better within a few weeks.”

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

Related Resources:

Understanding Small Cell Lung Cancer Research News and Future Treatments

Doctor speaking with male patient

Key Resources for Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients and Families


Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

Dr. Ernani, for some small cell lung cancer patients, understanding treatment options is crucial and sometimes requires swift decisions. How do you work with your patients and families to make treatment decisions that might have to be made rather rapidly? 

Dr. Vinicius Ernani:

Well, small cell, as we know, it’s an aggressive type of cancer, it divides very quickly. And because of that the patients usually, they tend to be symptomatic, so they have a lot of symptoms at the time that we see them. And if this disease, if we left untreated and the patient has extensive stage, so the disease has spread, the prognosis can be poor.

That being said, because small cell divides very quickly, chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy can help these patients fairly quickly. We can see patients in a matter of two to three weeks, they report that their shortness of breath is much better, they’re feeling better, they’re more energetic, they can do more things at home.

So we can see a rapid positive response to treatment very quickly. So when I explain this to my patients, most of the patients, they have no hesitation to say, yeah, I want to proceed with chemotherapy. And I tell them chemotherapy will help you feel better and also help you survive longer. And we are very fortunate that sometimes the patients are able to live years, they’re able to meet some live, let’s say, like a wedding of a grandkid or important events in their life. So I always recommend them to at least give it a shot.

My activation tip for this question is at least give the treatment a try. I think that you’re going to be positively surprised that you’re going to feel better within a few weeks.


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Battling Small Cell Lung Cancer | One Man’s Journey

Battling Small Cell Lung Cancer | One Man’s Journey from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Terrence’s diagnosis with extensive stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) came as a shock. He learned the value of a positive attitude and how “just as in battle, I understood early on that a solid partnership with my healthcare team would be crucial to my outcome.” He shares his perspective, lessons learned, and how to stay [ACT]IVATED in your care.

Disclaimer: Thank you to small cell lung cancer expert Dr. Rafael Santana-Davila, PEN’s Empowerment Leads, patients, and care partners for reviewing and collaborating on this video. This video has been edited to protect the privacy of certain individuals, and the names and identifying details have been changed.

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

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Lessons From a Small Cell Lung Cancer Care Partner

Moving Past Small Cell Lung Cancer Stigma | A Patient Navigator Explains

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Communication As a Key

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Communication As a Key


Transcript:

My name is Terrence, and I’m living with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). This diagnosis came as a shock, but I decided to persevere and fight. Cancer care can feel like a marathon, and certainly not a sprint – particularly for patients like me. As a small cell lung cancer survivor, I want to share my perspective and lessons learned from my cancer journey about staying ACTIVATED in your care.

My symptoms started with a cough that wouldn’t go away. As a military veteran, I assumed the cough was something I picked up years earlier. And even though I had been a smoker, my doctor didn’t order any scans as a pre-emptive screening measure, nor did I know what questions to ask. It wasn’t until I found a lump under my arm that further testing was done. It was at that time that I also put the other pieces of the puzzle together, which included symptoms of higher than normal blood pressure and knee pain.

I received chemotherapy and radiation, and also quickly learned that despite the challenges of treating my cancer, maintaining a positive attitude was the most critical part of my regimen. I was fortunate to have a medical team that listened to me and didn’t dismiss my concerns. Just as in battle, I understood early on that a solid partnership with my healthcare team would be crucial to my outcome.

Under the care of my healthcare team, I continue to receive scans of my lungs and brain every three months and feel grateful to be doing well. My care team and I also actively look for clinical trials that may be right for me. I urge other small cell lung cancer patients to ask your care team questions to learn about treatment options and what to expect during and after treatment – you matter. 

For the past decade, there have been a lot of research advancements about non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment, but our small cell lung community is feeling left out of conversations about investments to improve lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. The SCLC patient community also deserves improvements in care and treatment. Fortunately, things are changing. Progress in personalized medicine has allowed scientists to develop targeted therapies tailored to a patient’s body using their genes to prevent, diagnose, or treat an underlying disease. Clinical trials are one opportunity to be on the ground floor of these developments where you may be able to get tomorrow’s medicine today. I hope sharing my perspective will make a difference for others. 

While the battle ahead has uncertainties, stay [ACT]IVATED with these tips:

  • Don’t allow stigmas to keep you from getting the best care, now is the time to get the right care no matter how you got the cancer.
  • Ask your care team questions to learn about small cell lung cancer treatment options and what to expect during and after treatment.
  • Ask if a clinical trial may be a potential treatment option for you.
  • Stay abreast of small cell lung cancer treatment options and research advancements.

Whether it’s combat in war or fighting cancer, no matter who you are, take it from me, attitude is everything. Stay [ACT]IVATED by being informed, empowered, and engaged in your small cell lung cancer care.


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Moving Past Small Cell Lung Cancer Stigma | A Patient Navigator Explains

Moving Past Small Cell Lung Cancer Stigma | A Patient Navigator Explains from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Diana is a patient navigator who assists small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients from the stages of screening through follow-up care. Diana explains SCLC risk factors, patients commonly diagnosed with extensive stage SCLC, and barriers to care. She shares the origin of some stigma about lung cancer. “Past TV ads to stop smoking built a stigma around cigarette smoking that has created an environment of blame around lung cancer.” She discusses how patients can stay [ACT]IVATED in their care and in improving future treatments.

Disclaimer: Thank you to small cell lung cancer expert Dr. Rafael Santana-Davila, PEN’s Empowerment Leads, patients, and care partners for reviewing and collaborating on this video. This video has been edited to protect the privacy of certain individuals, and the names and identifying details have been changed.

See More from [ACT]IVATED Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

Related Resources:

Battling Small Cell Lung Cancer | One Man’s Journey

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Communication As a Key

Small Cell Lung Cancer Care | Communication As a Key

Lessons From a Small Cell Lung Cancer Care Partner


Transcript:

My name is Diana, I’m a patient navigator. I help patients navigate screening, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for small cell lung cancer. 

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) makes up about 15 percent of lung cancer in the U.S. Many of these patients are diagnosed with extensive stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). Though being a current or former smoker increases the risk of SCLC, patients who were exposed to secondhand smoke, workplace carcinogens, environmental pollution, or other factors are also at-risk for SCLC.

Even though smoking is a major risk factor for SCLC, nobody deserves to get cancer. Nicotine is an addictive substance that is extremely difficult for many smokers to quit – especially for those who started at a very young age. Past TV ads to stop smoking built a stigma around cigarette smoking that has created an environment of blame around lung cancer. The stigma is many times greater for extensive stage small cell lung cancer patients. 

Patients diagnosed with SCLC can come from a variety of ethnic, racial, and social classes. However, patients from underrepresented communities of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), low socioeconomic, and LGBTQ+ groups often take on the brunt of inequitable care in the form of limited access to quality care, lack of healthcare insurance, and other barriers to care. 

Remember that you are the patient, and you have a choice in your treatment options depending on your goals for treatment and quality of life – no matter how you got the cancer. So stay encouraged as investments in SCLC research continue to fuel hope.

My [ACT]IVATION tips are:

  •   Make sure you have a full picture of available treatment options.
  •   Help educate others to raise awareness of SCLC; advocate for improved care.
  •   Inquire about small cell lung cancer clinical trials to help researchers discover new and refined treatments.

With these [ACT]IVATION tips in mind, remember, as a patient staying ACTIVATED in your cancer care is essential to becoming informed, empowered, and engaged in your care.


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