Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

How targeted treatment helped Katherine

Lung Cancer Success Story: Katherine (age 43)

Katherine - Lung Cancer Survivor

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Patient Presentation: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

43-year-old Katherine had been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and offered standard chemotherapy. CTOAM’s Cancer Care Research and Advocacy Specialists recommended that she get tested for EGFR mutations. A biopsy test revealed that Katherine had EGFR positive NSCLC. (This biopsy was provided to her by her public medical system oncologist.)

Based on this data, her public medical system oncologist had tried her on the first generation EGFR inhibitor Tarceva. Unfortunately, Katherine stopped responding to this drug after eight months.

Katherine’s oncologist told her that the standard chemotherapeutic drugs would provide her with temporary relief, but would not stop the progression of her disease. While she started out on a platinum-based regimen, the side effects were too strong: a CT scan showed disease progression.

Katherine wasn’t ready to accept this, so she reached out to CTOAM again for further consultation.

Lung Cancer Success Story

How CTOAM Helped Katherine

1. Introduced Advanced Diagnostics

First, we arranged for a detailed genetic test, and identified that Katherine’s cancer had the EGFR T790M gatekeeper mutation, which confers resistance to first generation EGFR TKIs.

DNA Cancer Research

2. Clinical Trial Research and Support

We then researched and identified a third generation EGFR TKI that was achieving significant results in patients with T790M mutations and was designed for this EGFR mutation.

Unfortunately, a test biopsy performed by the trial coordinators (in which they did not use PET/CT data to ensure they had accessed tumour tissue) did not identify the required T790M mutation. Due to this error, Katherine was excluded from the trial.

3. Interim Treatment Support

Based on the personalized research CTOAM conducted for Katherine, our cancer research and patient advocacy experts immediately recommended that her oncologist use a targeted drug combination (in this case, Tarceva and Avastin). This combination had been reported to delay progression in patients with T790M mutations. Katherine was given this drug combination until a suitable trial was found.

4. Genetic Testing During Treatment

We provided a liquid biopsy to identify Katherine’s current EGFR mutational status.

Syringe with blood

5. Clinical Trial Support and Advocacy

Meanwhile, we also contacted the makers of a third generation EGFR T790M inhibitor, as well as another competing drug company. After presenting our case, Katherine was offered clinical trial positions from both companies, as well as the potential for compassionate access.

  • Personalized Cancer Treatment Options Plan: The case that CTOAM presented included the genetic data our team had collected and the personalized research we had conducted on Katherine’s behalf. This information was summarized into an easy-to-read report that provided the companies (and any medical professionals involved) with the necessary evidence that proved Katherine would benefit from being included in the trial.

6. Patient Outcome

Katherine is currently taking one of the trial drugs. Since the drug is an oral pill, she is able to do the trial from a distance, and stay at her home in Canada. The drug is working very well for Katherine and is known to delay disease progression significantly, reduce hospital visits, and increase comfort as it is a non-chemotherapy targeted drug.

The compassionate access we have arranged will also mean reduced cost to Katherine and her family, and she can get the treatment she needs with much less stress and financial strain.

Doctor with Clipboard

Further Updates on Katherine’s Outcome

CTOAM’s research has recently identified another third generation EGFR drug which, when taken after failure of her current drug, has been shown to significantly increase survival rates.


As you can see, CTOAM’s advanced diagnostics, records review, and consultations can result in significant benefits to a patient’s outcome. Having access to a team of precision oncology specialists, doctors, and patient advocates can make all the difference in the outcome of your disease.

If you or a loved one has cancer, contact us today so we can do a brief review of your medical records. CTOAM’s cancer research and patient advocacy experts will ensure that you have access to the most advanced tests and treatments available for your unique form of cancer – as close to home as possible.

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