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Thankful for Molecular Tumor Testing

  • November 24 2014

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    Thankful for Molecular Tumor Testing
    Dave Sachs, photographed at Bryce Canyon National Park
    Dave Sachs, a lung cancer survivor, credits molecular tumor testing for saving his life. Read about his journey in the final installment of our Lung Cancer Awareness Month Blog Series.

    I was a healthy, life-long runner in my early 50’s, so you can imagine my shock when I was diagnosed last New Year’s Eve with stage 4 lung cancer.  But I consider myself lucky.  Thanks to targeted therapy, my life is 98 percent back to normal!

    I am currently being treated with a TKI targeted therapy drug that is still in clinical trial. It is working extremely well for me! Within a week of starting the trial, my nighttime breathing returned to normal, and a week later my chronic cough subsided.  The positive results I have experienced have helped me view my situation as “chronic” instead of “terminal.” Targeted therapies mean my life can be closer to normal without the side effects of chemo.

    Molecular tumor testing clearly saved my life. A patient only knows about treatment options if their tumor is tested, and many new targeted treatments are now available for various mutations, including EGFR, ROS1 and ALK.  If your doctor hasn’t already tested your tumor, find someone who will!

    A lung cancer diagnosis has changed the way I look at things. My family and I are taking more vacations and making our time together count.  I no longer believe only smokers can get lung cancer but rather, as my oncologist likes to say, “Anyone with lungs can develop lung cancer.” 



  1. CareAcross 08:54am, 11/26/2014


    This is just excellent news against stage 4 lung cancer… Congratulations!

    Targeted therapy is indeed a promising development in oncology. The fact that you started responding straight away is fantastic!

    Molecular tumor testing is very important and can make a great difference, as it did in your case.

    Congratulations on “Free To Breathe” for hosting your story.
    And, congratulations to you, for being engaged, informed, and active in your treatment. We want to hear more about how you and your family are enjoying time together!


    PS. This is a timely post, if you’d excuse our shameless plug: Professor Tony Mok, a lung cancer expert and member of our scientific committee, was recently interviewed on our blog and talked about the significance of tumor testing. You can read more at Targeted lung cancer treatment: interview with world-renowned expert - CareAcross Blog.

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