Lung cancer survivor Kevin Hanlon, 61, lives with his wife, Denise, and their three children in Syracuse, New York, where he is president and chief executive officer of Comsource. Kevin and his brother, Robert Hanlon, created an international working group for those diagnosed with the same lung cancer mutation so that they can communicate globally about the available clinical trials. Kevin has contributed $150,000 to the Lung Cancer Moon Shot™ for research under the direction of John Heymach, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. Kevin's philanthropic spirit also inspired him to help the Houston community during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by donating 37,000 bottles of Nirvana drinking water to the Houston Food Bank.
In early 2016, I had developed a bad cough, so I went to the doctor. He told me I had lung cancer and suggested I seek treatment.
Soon after the diagnosis, I went to a cancer hospital close to home. The hospital identified an epidermal growth factor receptor mutation called an exon 20 insertion, which is highly resistant to treatment. I had six months of chemotherapy, which was successful in knocking back the cancer. After the chemotherapy ran its allotted course, I had one year of treatments using three other therapies, none of which worked.
Fortunately during this time period I had the opportunity to meet John Heymach, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. I learned that Dr. Heymach, through the support of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program™, figured out how to repurpose a drug for my specific mutation. In August 2017, Dr. Heymach welcomed me into his Phase II clinical trial of poziotinib. Since then, my tumors have regressed and my breathing issues have subsided, as has my cough.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Heymach and his team at MD Anderson.
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