In 2018 the lab reported the exceptionally high incidence of clotting events in patients with ROS1-rearranged lung cancer. We published case reports of patients with ROS1-rearranged lung cancer having an inherited predisposition for thrombosis (clotting). ROS1-lung cancer patients have generally never smoked and are diagnosed when young and otherwise healthy. While thrombosis is a relatively common event in cancer patients our data suggested the incidence of clotting was significantly higher than expected. This research (first author Dr Adrian Lee is pictured right) led to a worldwide focus on thrombosis in ROS1-lung cancer as well as other lung cancer subtypes. We thank Maggie Minassian (pictured left) for her BBQure for lung cancer which provided the initial funding for our ROS1 lung cancer research. We thank the ROS1ders for their amazing patient advocacy in spreading the word about this research.
Maggie’s Story (2019)
How research has given Maggie 10 years of life, with more to come!
2009: Maggie was diagnosed with NSCLC and underwent the standard treatment regime of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This devastating treatment was likely to give her 2 years, at best, not forgetting the effect of the treatment on quality of life.
But Maggie was going to become a grandmother, so dying was not an option!
2011: A small nodule had been identified and surgically removed. New genetic testing (Research!) identified the ROS1 [rearrangement] mutation.
2013: After 2 years a new liver nodule was identified. Research had now delivered a drug to treat the ROS1 mutation. With Nick Pavlakis as her oncologist, Maggie was one of the first 2 patients in Australia to have access to Crizotinib.
2019: Maggie has continued with Crizotinib and has reached her 10-year milestone. She now has 3 grandchildren and a very important part of their lives. Maggie has lived fully, a vital member of a busy family, with her parents (caring for them in time of need), her husband, adult children and siblings. But it is ongoing….
2020:……. Translational research is Maggie’s hope for the future. Cancer cells change and find new ways to survive, so it can’t stop until a cure is found.
The Bill Walsh Lab would welcome your support in fundraising for vital cancer research. For fundraising ideas and assistance, please contact Lorena from the NORTH Foundation on +612 99264904.