Group Launches National Campaign to Help Stomach Cancer Patients Receive the Right Treatment
“Test first. Because the best treatment for your stomach cancer is personalized.”
DALLAS, Feb. 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A national education and awareness campaign called Test Your Biomarkers is launching today – World Cancer Day – to educate patients and caregivers about the importance of biomarker testing in treating stomach cancer so patients will advocate for themselves and speak to their doctors about biomarker testing.
“Historically, stomach cancer has had low survival rates. But today, new drugs and treatment options are improving patient outcomes,” says the National Cancer Institute’s Jeremy Davis, a member of the Test Your Biomarkers Medical Advisory Committee. “The key, however, is ensuring that patients get biomarker testing so they can be paired with a treatment specific to their cancer’s unique information.”
Test Your Biomarkers is an unprecedented alliance among researchers, oncologists, patients, caregivers, advocacy groups (including Dallas-based stomach cancer nonprofit Stupid Strong) and pharmaceutical companies committed to equipping newly diagnosed patients with up-to-date, comprehensive, and practical information about biomarker testing. The primary goal of Test Your Biomarkers is to ensure every patient understands the importance of discussing biomarker testing with their doctor at the early stages of diagnosis so those results can be factored into treatment planning.
Saving and extending lives
Six months after completing his first half marathon in 2017 at age 39, Texan Javier Florez was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic stomach cancer. Biomarker testing revealed Javier’s cancer was HER2 positive and he was treated with Herceptin (a drug protocol he still receives every two weeks). Seven years later, Javier is a stomach cancer survivor because he received the right treatment based on his cancer’s specific biomarkers.
As a busy mother of two young children living in Montana, Lauren Donithan had persistent gastrointestinal issues and was misdiagnosed for several years before receiving a Stage IV gastric cancer diagnosis in early 2023 at age 36. She now receives care in Denver with a team that performed biomarker testing and identified two biomarkers, PD-L1 and CLDN18.2, for which she is currently undergoing individualized treatments that are extending her life.
Fortunately, Javier and Lauren’s doctors knew about biomarker testing. Yet, many providers are unaware of the advancements in precision medicine and the importance of biomarker testing in treating stomach cancer. Test Your Biomarkers is working to improve stomach cancer outcomes by educating patients and helping them advocate for themselves and biomarker testing with their doctors.
At the heart of the campaign is testyourbiomarkers.org, a website with information about biomarker testing, biomarkers, FAQs, patient stories and videos plus a script patients can download and bring with them to their next doctor visit. The campaign also includes digital advertising and is featured on Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn and YouTube.
“Our ultimate goal is to make biomarker testing a standard part of the diagnosis process for every stomach cancer patient,” says Jon Florin, Executive Director of No Stomach for Cancer, a Founding Supporter of Test Your Biomarkers. “Our collective strength lies in collaboration and focused efforts among advocacy groups. By joining forces, we can amplify our impact and address the urgent need for widespread adoption of biomarker testing for stomach cancer diagnosis. Together, we are committed to overcoming the informational divide between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that every patient receives personalized and effective care from the outset.”
About Test Your Biomarkers
Too many people have died of stomach cancer who may have benefited from targeted treatments if they had received timely biomarker testing. Test Your Biomarkers is a collaboration of researchers, oncologists, patients, caregivers, pharmaceutical companies and advocacy groups dedicated to providing newly diagnosed stomach cancer patients with accurate, current, informative, actionable biomarker information. Our goal is to ensure all patients understand the need to have biomarker testing early in diagnosis so those results can be factored into current and future treatment decisions. Our Medical Advisory Committee includes Jaffer Ajani, M.D., Jeremy L. Davis, M.D., and Sandra Ryeom, Ph.D. Founding Supporters are sponsors Amgen and Astellas, and advocacy groups Gastric Cancer Foundation, GI Cancers Alliance, No Stomach for Cancer, and Stupid Strong. Visit testyourbiomarkers.org today for more information about the importance of biomarker testing in treating stomach cancer.
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SOURCE Test Your Biomarkers
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