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18 SWITCHED ONcology: The Big Communication

Matching unprecedented clinical advances in immuno-oncology with transformative communication

Cancer. One of the most powerful words in the English dictionary. For many, ‘The Big C’ has somehow become a more palatable catch-all for this emotionally charged word. It’s BIG, scarily so. And it’s singular – one enemy to unite against many victims.

National Cancer Act of 1971. Available at: https://bit. ly/2qMHvm4 Accessed: April 2018. Here’s a look at Keytruda, the drug Jimmy Carter says made his tumors vanish. Available at: https://nbcnews. to/2GQhn4D Accessed: April 2018. In 1971, Nixon famously declared his war on this singular, recalcitrant enemy, asking Congress for the “same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and took man to the moon” to beat cancer.1 Decades later, in a twist of presidential fate, 92-year-old fellow US President Jimmy Carter received his all clear from melanoma thanks to an entirely new way to treat The Big C.

This new movement towards unleashing the body’s own defences against rogue cancer cells – so-called immuno-oncology (IO) – has reformed the community’s expectations and hopes for what’s possible in treating cancer.

Yet IO is still a story of two extremes. At one end of the spectrum comes the success. The ‘supersurvivors’. Immune-based drugs are controlling advanced cancers in a way that’s never before been possible.

But for every patient who has a supersurvivor response, there’s a handful more who don’t respond at all. And there’s no reliable way to predict this.

For those on the frontline of treating cancer, IO brings a whole new level of opportunity, but also unprecedented complexity and uncertainty. And for patients, the journey is very different.

Scans look different. Side effects can be devastating. Conversations and expectations are upended.

This rapidly evolving treatment modality has subverted the meaning of The Big C and the very language we use to talk about the disease, treatments and outcomes.

Big Communication is the vital link between cutting-edge science and everyday cancer patients. It will help to build trust and confidence in this uncertain new world.

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) need education, knowledge and support to tap in to the full potential of these new emerging treatments.

Patients need high-quality information about IO, honest conversations about potential treatment response and access to experts who are familiar with this new treatment modality at every healthcare touchpoint.

And the needs of carers – who play a critical and often unsung role in helping patients to navigate the complexity of cancer care – must be taken into consideration.

Communicating about The Big C has, in the past, been relatively simple. But with the age of IO, the need and complexity is far greater. To make IO a successful treatment for more patients right now, and to truly unlock its future potential, The Big C is now The Big Communication.

Downloads

  The Big Communication
PDF File: 867.4 KB

3rd July 2018

Downloads

  The Big Communication
PDF File: 867.4 KB

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Havas Lynx Group

+44 (0)161 228 7756

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52 Princess Street
Manchester
M1 6JX

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