Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November 09, 2009

Tampa, FL More people will die this year from lung cancer than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Moffitt Cancer Center is doing its part to fight this disease by launching an awareness and education initiative during November. By focusing on issues such as advancements in treatment techniques and patient/family testimonials, Moffitt aims to help those in need of hope and direction.

Moffitt has several experts available for interviews regarding Lung Cancer Awareness Month, including Dr. Gerold Bepler, program leader of Thoracic Oncology; David J. Drobes, Ph.D.; and Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D., director of the Tobacco Research & Intervention Program.

Faces of Lung Cancer

This month, Moffitt will relaunch the Faces of Lung Cancer© Web site to include an audio component. “Faces of Lung Cancer” is a collection of photographs and personal stories of lung cancer patients, their caregivers and health care professionals.

Downtown Tampa Market – Nov. 13

Moffitt and the Lung and Thoracic Tumor Education (LATTE) program will be at the Downtown Tampa Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13. The Moffitt table will be on Franklin Street across from the Tampa Police Department. Moffitt will sell lung cancer ribbon T-shirts, lapel pins and “Faces of Lung Cancer” books with all proceeds benefiting the lung cancer patient advocacy program. For information, call (813) 745-6438 or e-mail

LATTE Forum – Nov. 19

LATTE will hold its semi-annual forum from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, 12902 Magnolia Drive. This event provides community education about lung cancer research, treatment, prevention and screening. 

The forum will include a tour of the Thoracic Research lab; patient testimonials; a keynote address by Dr. York E. Miller, pulmonary medicine at Denver’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and an Ask the Experts panel presentation. Panelists include Bepler; Dr. Thomas J. Dilling, Radiation Oncology; Dr. Lary A. Robinson, Thoracic Surgery. Resources and educational materials will also be available.

For information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488). Space is limited and reservations are required. R.S.V.P. by Nov. 16.

The Great American Smokeout – Nov. 19

The Great American Smokeout, a campaign begun in 1976 to encourage smokers to quit for one day, is geared toward the more than 45 million smokers in the United States.

If you’re interested in participating in the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 19, Moffitt’s Tobacco Research and Intervention Program is a valuable resource. The FreshBreak™ Smoking Cessation Clinic offers free and low-cost smoking cessation programs. TRIP also is seeking participants to enroll in ongoing studies of smokers.

You can reach the TRIP office at (813) 745-1751.


Several local governments will issue resolutions supporting Moffitt during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Community members are invited to join Moffitt supporters, patients and staff in accepting the proclamations at the following public meetings:

Brevard County

Nov. 10, 9:30 a.m.

2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne


City of New Port Richey

Nov. 17, 7 p.m.

5919 Main St., New Port Richey


City of Melbourne

Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne


City of Tallahassee

Dec. 8, 3 p.m.

301 S. Monroe St., Fifth floor, Tallahassee

Clinical Trials:

Overview of Moffitt’s Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer

Informed decisions about treatment should include consideration of the standard of care, as well as current clinical trials, in which new agents that have shown promise in earlier studies are being investigated. Early knowledge of clinical trials can reduce risk for a missed opportunity to be screened for participation in an appropriate treatment study. To increase awareness about lung cancer clinical trials, we are providing the following information: study title, identification number, a brief description of its purpose and a few of the major eligibility criteria.

  • A Phase IIB Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study of Enzastaurin HCL (MCC 14787) Principal Investigator: Dr. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D.
    • The purpose of this study is to develop a treatment for the future prevention of lung cancer and to identify biochemical changes in the airway cells (cells lining the airway or respiratory system, for example, nose, windpipe and lung) that may lead to lung cancer. To take part in this study, participants must be in good health, 45 or older, are a former smoker who smoked for many years and have quit smoking for more than one year and are able to swallow tablets. For more information, call Tim Estrella at (813) 745-3685
  • A Randomized Phase II Trial Using Dendritic Cells Transduced with an Adenoviral Vector Containing the p53 Gene to Immunize Patients in Combination with Chemotherapy with or Without All Trans Retinoic Acid (MCC 15206) Principal Investigator: Alberto Chiappori, M.D.
    • The purpose of this research study is to test a tumor (cancer) vaccine given along with chemotherapy to determine if this vaccine will increase the amount of time that people who have this disease will live. Participants with extensive stage Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) are encouraged to contact Jamil Ahmed at (813) 745-7280 for eligibility criteria
  • Randomized Phase III Multicenter Trial of RRM1 & ERCC1 Directed Customized Chemotherapy versus Standard of Care for 1st Line Treatment (MADeIT) (MCC 15005) Principal Investigator: Charles Williams, M.D.
    • The primary objective is to evaluate if chemotherapy selection based on tumoral RRM1 and ERCC1 expression (arm A, the experimental arm) results in superior outcome in patients with untreated, advanced NSCLC compared to standard of care treatment with gemcitabine and carboplatin (arm B, the standard arm). Patients diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IIIB or IV may contact Amanda Sweeney at (813) 745-1457 for more information and eligibility criteria
  • Safety and Efficacy Study of Concurrent Cetuximab plus Conformal Thoracic Radiotherapy (CTRT) in Patients with Inoperable or Unresectable, Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (LA-NSCLC) (MCC 15294) Principal Investigator: Alberto Chiappori, M.D.
    • This research is being done to find out if a treatment consisting of a combination of thoracic radiotherapy with cetuximab, given together, and followed by chemotherapy with docetaxel and cetuximab (also given together) will kill the cancer cells in the patient’s body and shrink the size of their tumor without causing unacceptable side effects. This may allow patients to live longer or decrease the frequency and/or severity of the symptoms caused by the cancer without increasing the frequency and/or severity of the symptoms caused by the treatment. For more information and/or eligibility criteria, call Aaron Becker at (813) 745-467
  • Phase I/II Study of LBH589 in Combination with Erlotinib for Advanced Aerodigestive Tract Cancers (MCC 15461) Principal Investigator: Jhanelle Gray, M.D.
    • The purpose of the study is to 1. Find out if Erlotinib and LBH589 can be safely given together in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or Head and Neck (H&N) Cancer. 2. Learn more about the side effects of these two drugs when combined together. 3. Learn how these two drugs work in cancer cells when they are combined. 4. Learn how this combination affects the ways in which they are absorbed by the body and eliminated. 5. Find the highest doses of Erlotinib and LBH589 that can be safely given without causing serious side effects.   For more information and eligibility criteria, call Leticia Tetteh at (813) 745-461
  • Phase II ERCC1 and RRM1-Based Adjuvant Therapy Trial in Patients with Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (MCC 15755) Principal Investigator: Charles Williams, M.D.

o    The primary objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of assigning adjuvant treatment based on tumoral RRM1and ERCC1 gene expression in patients with complete surgical resection of stages IA (> 2 cm) and IB NSCLC. For more information or for eligibility criteria, call Aaron Becker at (813) 745-4679.

  • Stress Management and Exercise During Cancer Chemotherapy (MCC 13782) Principal Investigator: Paul Jacobsen, Ph.D.

o    The primary purpose of this study is to find out how stress management training alone, exercise training alone, and the combination of stress management training and exercise training might improve the quality of life of patients as they go through chemotherapy.  If you are a Moffitt patient and would like more information about this study, call Christine Marsella at (813) 745-1810.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.