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Archive for the ‘Patient Resources’ Category

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Calling for Participants

Posted By on February 28th, 2014 at 9:25 am | 0 comments.
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Drs. Edith Mitchell, Hallgeir Rui and their team of multidisciplinary researchers

An ongoing research program, led by Edith Mitchell, M.D., FACP, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinical Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Biology, has initiated a new clinical trial at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University that offers a more customized and personalized approach to the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. The trial, with lead investigators Drs. Tiffany Avery in the Department of Medical Oncology and Adam Berger in the Department of Surgery, offers treatment in the form of chemotherapy paired with a supplemental medication called a “Parp Inhibitor” and is designed to target the breast cancer cells to increase response to treatment and decrease the risk of recurrence. Researchers will conduct a randomized two-arm trial in 12-week cycles by administering different types of medicines in addition to chemotherapy.

Triple-negative breast cancer cells lack estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and do not have an excess of the HER2 protein on their surfaces. This type of breast cancer diagnosis is more prevalent in younger women and in African-American women. Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow faster and more aggressively and spread to other parts of the body more quicker than most other types of breast cancer. Drs. Mitchell and Rui and their team of researchers are hoping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment for triple-negative breast cancer through this clinical trial.

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Dr. Edith Mitchell speaks with a patient at the Kimmel Cancer Center.

Clinical Trial Details:

An adaptive randomized Phase II Trial to determine pathologic complete response with the addition of carboplatin with and without veliparib to standard chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant treatment of triple-negative breast cancer
Study Design:  This is a randomized two-arm trial for the neoadjuvant treatment of triple breast cancer patients. The two arms for the trial are as follows:

1.    Paclitaxel and carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

2.    Veliparib + paclitaxel + carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support fol

lowed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

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Drs. Edith Mitchell, Adam Berger & Hallgeir Rui

The primary objective of the study is to compare the pathologic complete response in patients with triple negative breast cancer treated with paclitaxel and carboplatin or paclitaxel, carboplatin, and veliparib in addition to standard

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Dr. Tiffany Avery, a lead investigator in this clinical trial

chemotherapy  (adriamycin and cyclophosphamide).
Key Eligibility Criteria:
1. Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the breast with the following markers: Estrogen receptor negative (<1%), progesterone receptor negative (<1%), and Her-2/neu negative (0, 1+ on IHC te

sting or 2+ and FISH ratio < 1.8) or adenocarcinoma identified as basal-like subtype on molecular profiling.
2.    Clinical stage IIA, IIB or stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC breast cancer with no prior treatment for this tumor.
3.   ECOG Performance Status of 0 or 1.

If you think you may be a potential candidate for this clinical study, please contact the study coordinator, Melisa Mordenti, at 215-955-8979.

Click on the video below for more details on this clinical trial.

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Need a Ride to Treatment? Angel Bus Program Offers Assistance

Posted By on February 17th, 2014 at 8:55 am | 0 comments.

Angel-Bus-logo-pic-for-webAngel Bus is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing FREE non-emergency, long-distance ground transportation to financially stressed ambulatory patients who are traveling for treatment.  A typical Angel Bus trip is 70 – 250 miles (one-way).  Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for cancer patients traveling daily for treatment.  Here’s how Angel Bus can help…

Angel Bus provides help with transportation in these ways:
Gas Cards are provided to help offset fuel cost for patients
-Gas cards from major companies are mailed to patients

Commercial ground transportation (Amtrak, Greyhound, etc.)
-Tickets to be picked up at Will Call.  With ample lead time, tickets can be mailed.

Volunteer drivers
- Angel Bus has a limited number of drivers throughout the continental US.

To be eligible, you must have:
-Scheduled medical appointment
-Clearance by physician to travel
-Verifiable financial need
All services provided by Angel Bus are free to clients. A Trip Request can also be completed online at http://www.angel-bus.org/request-form

Are You Struggling to Pay Bills During Treatment? Find Help Now.

Posted By on January 15th, 2014 at 8:38 am | 0 comments.

woman-with-bills-for-webIf you are currently in treatment for breast cancer, and having difficulty keeping up with rent and utility bills, there is help available! Breast Cancer Charities of America offers up to $500 on a one-time basis per patient through its Help Now Fund. You will need to complete an application together with your medical personnel or social worker, and submit it between the 1st and 7th of the month.

Here’s how it works…

~ Applications sent directly from the patient will not be accepted.

~ If approved, Breast Cancer Charities of America will call the medical personnel by the 15th of the month, and checks will be made payable to the rental or utility company and mailed to you for review.

~ To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen in active treatment for breast cancer and provide documentation of past-due rent and/or utilities.

Click on the links below for more information on these programs.
http://www.thebreastcancercharities.org/help-now-fund/
http://www.thebreastcancercharities.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/2014-HNF-Application-Guidelines.pdf

What’s for Dinner? Free Online Service Organizes Meals for Survivors

Posted By on December 16th, 2013 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

Meal-Train-Image-2forwebWhen faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, friends or family members might ask – “How Can I Help?”  Often they offer to provide that help by cooking dinner during treatment, but it’s tough to figure out who’s bringing what and when they’re bringing it!   That’s where Meal Train comes in.  It’s a free Web site that organizes meals for friends or loved ones in need.
Here’s how it works…

MealTrain.com allows anyone to set up a free meal calendar.  In the calendar, you can log on, choose a day of the week during which you would like to make a meal.  Each participant then chooses that day, writes what meal they will be bringing so other members of the Meal Train don’t bring the same thing.  How many lasagnas can you eat in one week anyway?  Meal Train also lets you type in the survivor’s address, their favorite meals, a preferred drop-off time and any allergies their family members might have.  Friends who choose to help in other ways may opt to pass on cooking a meal and send the patient flowers or donations instead.  For more information on Meal Train, click here.

Free YMCA Program Bridges Gap Between Treatment, Recovery

Posted By on November 13th, 2013 at 9:50 am | 0 comments.

Livestrong at YMCALivestrong offers FREE 12-week, small group fitness programs at various YMCAs around the country aimed at helping cancer survivors in the transitional period between completion of treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to return to a “new normal.” Instructors work to fit the program to each participant’s individual needs.

In Pennsylvania, the program is offered at the following four Y’s:

  • Indian Valley Family YMCA in Harleysville (215-723-3569)
  • Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County in Secane (610-544-1080 ext. 220)
  • YMCA of York and York County, Southern Branch at Shrewsbury (717-235-0446)
  • YMCA of York and York County, York Branch (717-843-7884)

“Cleaning for a Reason” Making a Difference in Manheim

Posted By on July 15th, 2013 at 8:20 am | 0 comments.

The GarmansCleaning is difficult, even when healthy. Add in breast cancer and it makes for an extremely difficult chore.  For PA survivors like Lori Wolgemuth, undergoing treatment for cancer means that she was often too tired to accomplish even basic cleaning tasks that we take for granted, like dusting and vacuuming.

Lori was a busy mom to three boys, and then her life completely changed when she was diagnosed with cancer. Lori said, “In one moment, my life changed.”

Donna Garman, of Garman’s Cleaning in Manheim, Lancaster County, saw an opportunity to donate her time and skills through a nonprofit called Cleaning for a Reason. Donna heard about the charity through a job coach, who also happened to be the founder of the organization.

Donna’s mother is a breast cancer survivor. Donna can relate to the pain and hardship the disease can bring on a family. In fact, Donna’s experience with her mom’s cancer, along with knowing friends and other relatives who have battled cancer, propelled her toward volunteering with this charity.

This break from cleaning chores allows Lori to focus on her family and recovery. Plus, she feels good knowing the house is being maintained for her family’s sake.

Over the past two years, Garman’s Cleaning, under Donna’s leadership, has helped four local families with a family member who is battling cancer.

 

Medical Article: Quitting Tobacco After a Cancer Diagnosis

Posted By on November 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 0 comments.

New resources are available for those with cancer and their caregivers on quitting tobacco use. These resources are available free of charge from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Graham Warren provides a podcast and a Q & A article on the benefits of quitting after a cancer diagnosis. A booklet for healthcare providers is also available, offering tips on how to incorporate tobacco cessation into their practice.

The PBCC is Turning Awareness Into Action

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 8:55 am | 0 comments.

At the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, we turn awareness into action. To us it has never been about just wearing pink – it has been about gathering advocates, survivors and healthcare professionals together each October for the PBCC Conference, assisting those who have breast cancer and qualify for free treatment with getting the treatment they need and deserve, establishing the Refunds for Research program to give taxpayers a way to fund research happening here in Pennsylvania.

It has been about creating an insurance guidebook to help women navigate complex insurance issues and bringing our 67 Women, 67 Counties exhibit to communities throughout the state; motivating state legislators to enact legislation to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors.  This is just a snap shot of what we do. In everything we do – whether it is answering a phone call or email or driving around the state in our pink van – we turn awareness into action. We hope to inspire you to turn awareness into action in your community as well.