Nov 13, 2020
While working toward the goal of conquering cancer, patients often celebrate smaller victories. These wins can range from spending a holiday weekend with family (and without symptoms), to taking a dream vacation without restrictions, to returning to hobbies once enjoyed.
Jyoti Malhotra, MD, MPH, is a 2015 Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award (YIA) recipient helping patients with lung cancer mark these milestones throughout treatment.
“For patients, achieving smaller goals can be significant and fulfilling,” said Dr. Malhotra, whose research focuses on early-phase drug development. When patients run out of standard treatment options after trying multiple kinds of therapy, Dr. Malhotra encourages them to enroll in clinical trials that test newly developed drugs. These trials, often a last line of hope for patients, tend to be donor funded.
The YIA “provided support for my research in lung cancer… Having research support enabled me to focus on clinical investigation,” Dr. Malhotra explained. She is using the data collected during her YIA study for future, larger research projects.
Recently, Dr. Malhotra and her team found that immunotherapy treatment in tandem with chemotherapy and radiation is a safe, tolerable, and viable combination for improving outcomes in patients with certain lung cancers. Targeted therapy, which acts on specific DNA changes in a patient’s lung tumor, is also proving effective. For a subgroup of patients, this means returning to a near-normal quality of life.
Improved patient outcomes mean more milestones reached and more small victories celebrated. Gifts from Conquer Cancer donors fund the researchers who lead the trials that make these patient achievements possible.
“Patients often thank me,” Dr. Malhotra reflected. “Every time this happens, I tell [them] these advances have really been made possible due to the efforts of all the researchers and patients who participated in these studies over the last two decades.”
Share the joy of providing patients with cancer breakthrough treatments and cures. Donate to cancer research in honor or in memory of someone this holiday season. Make a tribute gift to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation on behalf of someone special to you and send an ecard to let them know of the promising cancer research that will be funded in their name. Make your gift today.