My name is Kevin Brumett. In August of 2007, I was diagnosed with stage IIIa/b Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer at the age of 29. As it always is when being diagnosed with any form of cancer, I was shocked. I was especially concerned because of the lack of information that exists surrounding lung cancer and the extremely poor survival statistics. I am a lifelong non-smoker and I have always remained active in sports and athletics. I'm writing today because I want every single patient who has been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer to tell your doctors that you want to have your tumors biopsied and tested for every type of genetic mutation that they know of, especially the EML4-ALK mutation. I had been on six cycles of Cisplatin/Alimta with minimal results. I then had two months off before taking Tarceva with negative results. I then went on two more cycles of Alimta. As I was on Alimta the last time, my oncologists and pathologists discovered that the EML4-ALK mutation exists in the tumors in my body. It is very weird to think about it now, but the timing of this was impeccable because a clinical trial was open through the Harvard medical system up here in Boston, MA for a study of a inhibitor drug that targets the EML4-ALK mutation. I started the drug on June 5th. I went over the scan results yesterday with my clinical trial team to compare with the baseline scans taken before beginning the clinical trial. To say that the drug is working...is an understatement. The tumor is dead from the inside out, which is called necrotic cell death. The left side of my lung, which was shrouded in a cloud when viewing the baseline CT scan, is now showing more signs of it becoming clear. Substantial response. I hope that the drug continues to destroy these tumors that are located in my left lung and pleura. The lymphatic activity has also decreased significantly as well. If any of you have biopsies, I urge you to tell your doctors that you want them tested for genetic mutations such as EGFR, K-RAS, EML4-ALK and every other known mutation. The drug's side effects are minimal with diarrhea once a week and some nausea at the beginning but your body gets used to it. The side-effects are MUCH more tolerable than platinum based chemotherapies.
I am receiving treatment at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. I am also consulting with lung cancer specialists at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA and a lung cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering located in New York City.
If anyone wants to email me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care and stay strong,