Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Avera launching landmark lung cancer study

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Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. Avera Health is on the forefront of transforming care for lung cancer patients.

“We’ll be enrolling the first patients in a groundbreaking new lung cancer trial,” said Dr. Ben Solomon, medical oncologist at Avera Cancer Institute.

Through the Survival Prolongation by Rationale Innovative Genomics (SPRING) Trial, Avera, in collaboration with the Worldwide Innovative Network (WIN) Consortium, will redefine lung cancer treatment for better results. The trial will work directly with patients diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

“Lung cancer is a disease that typically, at least historically, has been detected at an advanced stage,” said Dr. Solomon.

Dr. Solomon is the lead investigator of the study at Avera. He says all patients will be given a three-drug protocol that incorporates immunotherapy and two other targeted therapies.

“The goals of the trial are to validate doses in this particular drug combination, but also to help determine the validity of an algorithm to help us predict which treatments might be best for individual patients with lung cancer -- because every case of lung cancer is different,” said Dr. Solomon.

“We’ve got the drugs. We’ve got the treatments. We’ve got the diagnostics but no one’s using them. Let’s change that. And what you can see at Avera is a way we’re making that not only happen, we’re making it work,” said Franklin Salisbury Jr., CEO of National Foundation for Cancer Research.

“This is the first cocktail that we test, a first proof of concept,” said Dr. Vladimir Lazar, founder and Chief Scientific and Operating Officer of WIN.

WIN’s mission is to rapidly translate personalized cancer medicine discoveries into standards of patient care worldwide.

“We want to explore this more aggressive attitude, not to give one but to give three from different angles, to attack the cells and not give her the chance to acquire resistance,” said Dr. Lazar.

“We hope the outcome of these studies will revolutionize cancer care,” said Dr. Solomon.

Dr. Solomon says this is just the beginning of a series of clinical trial that they expect to roll out over the next several years.

“While this announcement represents one clinical trial and benefits potentially a more narrow subset of patients, over time we expect that our trial portfolio, in partnership with WIN, is only going to grow,” said Dr. Solomon.

Avera is one of only two sites in the US to launch this trial.

For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.