The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation's list of "10 Highlights of the Year 2015" is good news for those of us in the carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumor community. Here's the short version:
- Lutetium-177 PRRT was given fast-track designation by the FDA.
- Everolimus passed a Phase III trial.
- Those with untreatable carcinoid syndrome now have a new medicine.
- University of Iowa received a $10.7 million grant to study NETs.
- A global study of 2,000 NET patients was undertaken.
- NIH found a genetic link to gastrointestinal NETs
- The winner of the 2015 Warner Advocacy Award was announced.
- NET Cancer Awareness Day was the largest ever.
- A new app for NET patients was released.
- Various news items were collected into the #10 slot.
In addition, City of Hope is doing some amazing research. On December 16, Giovanna Imbesi of LACNETS and I got to tour a research lab on campus where molecular biologist Dr. John Williams has recently found ways to literally "bolt on" custom molecules to antibodies. After finding that antibodies have a central cavity, he tested ways to insert a molecular "bolt" into the space where he can fasten on items like drugs or radioactive substances. This technology, called Meditopes, is a cutting-edge method for targeted therapy that may become very significant for cancer treatments in the future. It will allow physicians to precisely target tumors with therapeutic agents, producing minimal side effects. Watch the video and get encouraged!
These are exciting times, when a carcinoid cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence any longer, but a chronic illness that can not only be managed, but may be curable in the next decade or so if these trends continue. Stay encouraged, and meanwhile, do all you can to take care of yourself through diet, exercise, prayer and faith in God.