Making Cancer Medicine More Compassionate

Lung Cancer Heroes®, CURE® Lung Cancer Heroes® 2021 Essay Book, Volume 2,

A man writes about his wife’s oncologist, Dr. Frederic J. Kaye, and describes how he went above and beyond to provide supportive care during her lung cancer journey.

I am writing to you in support of my wife’s oncologist, Dr. Frederic J. Kaye, as a hero in lung cancer. My wife was diagnosed with progressive bilateral mucinous lung adenocarcinoma and was referred to Dr. Kaye at the University of Florida Health Shands Cancer Hospital in 2017.

Dr. Kaye is professor of medicine and co-director of the University of Florida thoracic oncology program within the Division of Hematology and Oncology. He is a physician-scientist and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and he serves as deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. His lab identified the retinoblastoma gene as the first tumor suppressor gene in lung cancer.

He was also co-author on the initial publication that identified EGFR mutations in lung cancer and was part of the clinical trials group that defined the role for new EGFR inhibitor drugs for patients with lung cancer. More recently, his lab discovered a new cancer gene pathway that underlies an important LKB1 mutant subtype of lung cancer, and he is also pursuing investigational clinical trials testing oncolytic viral therapy to enhance efficacy of immune therapies.

Most importantly, despite a very busy clinical practice, he has always been available to us with personal attention during these difficult times. This included evaluating my wife on the weekend after an unexpected emergency room visit. He has guided my wife through her treatments with experience and expertise while at the same time coordinating additional second-opinion evaluations and triaging possible clinical trials. Through a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and selective stereotactic radiation therapy, she continues with stable disease and good quality of life.

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