Category Archives: Episode

RADON: A MAJOR CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER- TAKE ACTION!



HOST: Hildy Grossman, Co-Host: Jordan Rich
GUESTS: Jacqueline Nixon and Gloria Linnertz

Radon is a radioactive gas released in rocks and soil, possibly in your home or where you work. It’s odorless, tasteless, and invisible and can seep up through the ground and circulate into the air. As a result, Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect inside of homes and other buildings. Unfortunately, Radon is a major cause of lung cancer. Scientists estimate that there are 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year related to radon.
Both Jacqueline Nixon and Gloria Linnertz represent an organization, Citizens For Radioactive Radon Reduction. Gloria discusses how learning that her husband, Joe, had late-stage lung cancer attributable to the skyrocketing measure of radon in her home changed her life. Although Joe lost his life to lung cancer, Gloria was tireless in demanding that politicians create bills addressing the safest amount of radon for homes on a local and state level.
Jacqueline’s story is one of a survivor whose lung cancer was attributed to unacceptable levels of radon in her apartment. She too took action and created a campaign of awareness.
You’ll find answers to questions about acceptable levels of radon, how to test for radon, and how to get rid of it if necessary. This podcast is so important and could save a life.


DID YOU KNOW LUNG CANCER’S A WOMEN’S DISEASE?



What Women Need to Know About Lung Cancer

Host: Hildy Grossman with Jordan Rich, co-host
Guest: Narjust Duma Flores, MD
Lung Cancer has a reputation of being a man’s disease. Today this notion couldn’t be further than the truth. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women as well as men, taking more women’s lives than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined. It’s our privilege is to have international lecturer, researcher and oncologist, Dr. Narjust Flores, as our guest to help us learn more about how women and men differ in the incidence and expression of lung cancer. She’ll discuss the significant finding that there is an increase in lung cancer diagnoses in women, while at the same time a decline in men. We’ll discuss the emerging data demonstrating sex-specific susceptibility, prognosis, and treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Flors will also speculate on why the steepest increase in incidence of lung cancer is among non-smoking women. This is a fascinating and vital conversation.


HER2 BIOMARKER ISN’T JUST ABOUT HER Not Just a Breast biomarker!



HOST: Hildy Grossman, Co-Host: Jordan Rich
GUESTS: Pasi Janne, MD, Ph.D., Director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Scientific Director of the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Research
Gabrielle Goodman, HER2 patient
Bill Brand, HER2 patient
Caren Suesserman, Exon 20 Group Virtual Meeting Leader and Patient Advocate

Most people are familiar with HER2 presence in breast cancer. In this podcast we discuss the rare but significant presence of HER2 in lung cancer. We’re honored to have one of the original investigators in the discovery of the EGFR mutation. Dr. Pasi Janne has also led the development of strategies for treating patients with HER2 and other biomarkers. He discusses the importance of finding HER2 in lung cancer and how this knowledge impacts treatment choices.
Bill Brand and Gabrielle Goodman share their own, unique stories and of learning of their HER2 biomarker helps direct their treatment. They also agree that having found the organization, EXON20 has helped them gain support and not feel alone. Finally, Caren Susserman describes how she leads weekly Zoom meetings for the EXON20 group for those with HER2. The broad range of services help to ease living with this rare disease.


Have You Heard Of Biomarker Testing? If So, How To Get It When You Need It



HOST: Hildy Grossman, Co-Host: Jordan Rich
GUESTS: Anthony Sireci, MD, and Hilary Hammell, MD

In this podcast, we ask the question, “Along with an accurate cancer diagnosis, why is comprehensive biomarker testing so important? Our guest, Dr. Anthony Sireci, vice president of clinical biomarker and diagnostics development at Loxo@Lilly, has devoted his career to biomarker testing and development. He shares his interest in precision medicine and talks about what inspired him to get involved in this field. He helps us understand why comprehensive biomarker testing is so important when considering treatment options for cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our other guest, Hilary Hammell, is a physician herself, and has been diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. She shares her own experience about learning she has the RET positive biomarker. She adds that knowing her own biomarker guided her to a treatment that helped to “save her life.” This episode is important for understanding how precision medicine works, how it’s different from other current treatments, and how patients and their families can address comprehensive biomarker testing with their physician. With this fascinating and informative conversation, the question remains how to increase patient’s access to biomarker testing.


How in The World Does Our Immune System Work? Immunotherapy 101 for Lung Cancer



Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge treatment for lung cancer. Learn all about it.
HOST: Hildy Grossman, Co-Host: Jordan Rich
GUESTS: David Barbie, MD, Oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

We often hear about our immune system, but outside of science class, few of us understand how it works. Whether your last brush with science was high school biology or you are a career scientist, there is much to learn from Dr. David Barbie. He discusses the role our immune system plays as a protector against infection, and how understanding the immune system’s mechanisms of action has led researchers to develop immunotherapies to treat cancer. He also answers how advanced lung cancer patients and their treatment team choose among chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. This is a podcast you will want to be sure to listen to.


ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE IN RURAL AND BLACK COMMUNITIES    Understanding Common Barriers and Overcoming Hurdles



HOST: HILDY GROSSMAN   CO-HOST: JORDAN RICH
GUEST:  RAYMOND OSAROGIAGBON, MD, FACP, Director of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program at Baptist Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

Many of us living in urban areas have some awareness and experience of barriers to healthcare, but we seldom consider the obstacles that face people living in rural areas. This is especially true where lung cancer is involved. Our guest, Dr. Osarogiagbon began his career in lung cancer in the 1990s, and at that time, a lot of folks questioned his decision to focus on a disease where life expectancy was so poor. He shares with us what inspired him to work with overlooked poor, rural and black communities. He also discusses the importance of research, what his research is currently focused on and where it continues to develop. Dr. Osarogiagbon talks about the impact of geography on a person’s health. For example, his practice is in Memphis, Tennessee, in the heart of the Southeastern US, where the lung cancer burden is the greatest and where outcomes tend to be the worst. The complexities in identifying and treating people with cancer in rural areas can have a substantial impact on health outcomes. Dr. Osarogiagbon also discusses some of the similar issues experienced by black communities in rural and urban areas. This is an important conversation you won’t want to miss.


Changing Failing Grades for Lung Cancer Screening Removing Barriers to Screening Can Save Lives



HOST: Hildy Grossman, Co-Host: Jordan Rich
GUESTS: Jacob Sands, MD, Oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Andrea McKee, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC)
In previous Backstage @ Upstage podcasts, we’ve discussed the importance of low dose CT scans to detect lung cancer early. Both of today’s guests are dedicated to helping to make lung cancer screening available for all who are eligible. Dr. McKee initiated “Rescue Lung, Rescue Life,” a program to broaden access to lung cancer screening without cost to patients. She discusses what prompted her to start this program at her own center and her work to make this program available throughout the country. Dr. Sands discusses the low percentage of people nationally who take advantage of lung cancer screening—only about 3%! Here in Massachusetts, we are leading the pack, but the percentage of people getting scans is only 17%. We all agree these are failing grades. We need to do better. This podcast is an important conversation about what opportunities we can create to help save lives. Years ago, lung cancer was seen as a death sentence. Now, lung cancer screening can detect the disease early, when lives can be saved and extended. Don’t miss this fascinating exchange.


Radiation for Diagnosis and Treatment What’s New for lung cancer?



Host: Hildy Grossman Co-Host Jordan Rich
Guest: Francine Jacobson, MD, MPH

Dr. Francine Jacobson discusses the value of screening for early detection of lung cancer. From the perspective of patients and care givers, facing radiation can be concerning. Dr. Jacobson discusses the lowering doses of radiation to help find lung cancer early, with the benefit of identifying and treating the disease at the earliest possible time.
What’s new? There is more understanding of early lung cancer and how to approach it for treatment. Artificial Intelligence is in the news, and now has the potential to predict the presence of lung cancer. New technologies and scanning abilities will help to make lung cancer a chronic disease.
This podcast helps to demystify the process of scanning and treating lung cancer with radiation. This includes addressing fears and scanxiety associated with scans and treatment. The questions and answers raised in this episode focus on the concerns of patients, family members and caregivers.


Asian- Americans face disparities in lung cancer healthcare



HOST: HILDY GROSSMAN CO-HOST: JORDAN RICH
GUEST: GLORIA ZHANG, Executive Director of Strategic Alliances at New Tang Dynasty

The Asian and Pacific Islander population represents over 30 countries and
contains ethnic groups that speak more than 100 different languages! Chinese-
Americans represent over 24% of the Asian-American population and are the
focus audience for our guest, Gloria Zhang. She is the executive director of
strategic alliances at New Tang Dynasty, an independent, nonprofit television
network that provides a wide range of programs for the Chinese-American
community and around the world. The network aims to educate its audience
about the higher incidence of lung cancer among Southeast Asian Americans
compared to White Americans. In fact, the group with the greatest increase in
lung cancer is with non-smoking women. Be sure to listen to this important
discussion. podcast.


¿Está el doctor? (Is the doctor in?) Barriers to Healthcare for the Hispanic Community



HOST: HILDY GROSSMAN CO-HOST: JORDAN RICH
GUESTS: KEVIN SALINAS, MD AND FRACINE JACOBSON, MD, MPH

By 2060, the Census Bureau projects that the Hispanic/Latino population will make up almost one third of the US population. In addition, the Hispanic population is a diverse group who trace their heritage to more than 20 Spanish-speaking countries, regardless of race.
Kevin Salinas, MD is a Harvard Medical School student in his final year. His family immigrated from Mexico and they continue to live in a small town in the US. He describes his family background and his focus on issues that face Hispanics in access to health care as well as considerations in receiving care.

Thoracic radiologist, Francine Jacobson, MD, MPH joins the discussion regarding poverty and lack of health insurance, language barriers, cultural barriers and limited access to standard care. For undocumented individuals, there is anxiety about deportation if they access medical treatment.

In our country of diversity, we all grow in understanding how cultures within the general population view lung cancer and treatment. This is a discussion you won’t want to miss.