Free to Breathe

Ask Us Anything | Talk with Dr. Howard Jack West and Janet Freeman-Daily about precision medicine on May 4

Ask Us Anything | Talk with Dr. Howard Jack West and Janet Freeman-Daily about precision medicine on May 4

We are excited to be hosting the 2nd official Free to Breathe Ask Us Anything on HealthUnlocked. On May 4, Dr. Howard Jack West, Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute, and Janet Freeman-Daily, lung cancer patient (currently NED) and co-moderator of the Lung Cancer Social Media Chat will answer your questions about the importance of precision medicine.

Dr. West has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed literature and has authored several book chapters. He also now serves as the Web Editor of JAMA Oncology and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Medicine, Clinical Lung Cancer, and Journal of Thoracic Disease, in addition to serving as an author of multiple lung cancer-related sections of UpToDate and as a reviewer for more than a dozen professional journals. Dr. West leads a wide range of clinical trials and has been actively involved with the SWOG Lung Cancer Committee as a Study Coordinator/Principal Investigator. Dr. West founded and continues to serve as President of the nonprofit organization Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE), a source of timely, free information for patients and caregivers dealing with cancer that currently receives over 50 thousand visits per month from over 100 countries around the world. Dr. West is also working to develop telemedicine-based practice patterns to broaden the range of treatment options for cancer patients through the Swedish/Providence network.

Janet Freeman-Daily, MS, ENG, was diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in May 2011. After two chemotherapy regimens and two radiation protocols, her cancer became metastatic. She used information obtained in online forums to get her tumor tissue tested for newer molecular markers and find a clinical trial, and has had No Evidence of Disease since January 2013 thanks to precision medicine and social media.

After applying her MIT and Caltech engineering degrees to a career in aerospace systems engineering and new business for two decades, Janet now is a patient activist who uses her communications and science background to translate the experience of lung cancer treatment and research for others. Her advocacy work includes writing an award-winning blog at, co-moderating Lung Cancer Social Media (#LCSM) Chat on Twitter, serving on local and national cancer research and working groups (among them National Cancer Institute, President’s Cancer Panel, and University of Colorado NCI SPORE), leading the Global ROS1 Initiative ( with other patients, and speaking at oncology and medical conferences.

Here is how you can participate:

1. Click on this link:

2. Click “Sign Up” on the top right corner of the page

3. Choose to sign up with Facebook or Google, or if you prefer to create your own login, click "Sign up with email” after entering a username, email address, and password.

4. Check your email Inbox for a verification email from HealthUnlocked and click on the “Confirm email address” button

Mark your calendars and get your questions ready!

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9 Replies

Two of my favorite advocates. I plan to participate. I count Janet as a friend and enjoy her blog. The #LCSM twitter chats are important because I get to share my thoughts and observations in a forum with some amazing advocates, oncologists, patients and caregivers.

Anita Figeuris, you'd best be there!


Oooohh I will, Denzie!


This is an amazing opportunity for us all to ask questions of two lung cancer advocates who are dedicated to empowering patients by bringing the latest scientific information on lung cancer to us. I will be sure to join the conversation and hope that many people on this forum will participate.


Hey Travis, way to hit a home run! Great job.


Can I ask my question ahead of the "Ask us Anything" discussion? I'm a patient who has received targeted therapy for 3.5 years. I have 2 stable tumors in my lungs, and two small punctates in my brain. They continue to respond to Alectinib (I'm ALK+, but my situation of acquired resistance occurs for all targeted therapy patients). I have progression (started last summer) in my liver which has not responded to 2 other TKI medicines, although the other tumors continue to respond. At the time of progression, a biopsy showed the liver mets were EML-4 ALK, no fancy mutations. The progression apparently is not feeding on the ALK protein. So I'm now on chemo plus Alectinib.

My questions are how common is this typed of acquired resistance in targeted therapy patients, and are there scientific methodologies for choosing the most effective chemo agents? Patients who follow TKI therapies know there is active discussion about the order of which medicines to take, first line versus 2nd/3rd generation. But when you have acquired resistance, that becomes a somewhat moot point.

Last, I was reading about a clinical trial medicine, a potent selective small molecule inhibitor of Axl called BGB324 as a possible agent to re-sensitize my cancer (again, not just ALK but other targetable mutations). Has there been any news about this trial presented at professional conferences that may show it is promising?

Thank you!



Thanks for the questions Dave! I'll be sure to present it to Jack and Janet tomorrow for you.

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Thank you! I just saw Dr. Jack at the Hope Summit this past weekend. And Janet is great too!


Hi folks! Happy to participate!

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The AMA is live and over here:

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