Since 2005, Linnea Duff, has been in treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center for lung cancer. In 2008, when a biopsy confirmed that her disease had progressed to stage IV lung cancer, her treatment took a novel turn.
At the time of her biopsy, Linnea’s tumor was submitted for genetic testing, which revealed that a rare ALK3 mutation was fueling her cancer growth. She enrolled in a clinical trial of a pioneering ALK inhibitor, under the care of Eunice Kwak, MD, PhD, and Alice Shaw, MD, PhD. The targeted drug arrested the formerly relentless march of her cancer for nearly three years; she is now enrolled in a second clinical trial for another experimental therapy that targets ALK mutations.
Now a vigorous advocate on behalf of research that can reverse the odds of patients with terminal diagnoses, Linnea has participated in countless media opportunities, from an ABC News feature and an interview with Dr. Oz to nationwide events promoting research in targeted drugs.
“My purpose in recounting my experiences is two-fold,” Linnea writes in her blog, www.outlivinglungcancer.com, “to offer hope and to provide a window into the life of someone living with terminal lung cancer. And I do mean living. I have lung cancer, but it doesn’t have me.”
Help us honor the 2014 one hundredNominate Your Cancer Hero
- David J. Kuter, MD, Dphil
- St. Mary’s High School Baseball Team
- Ellen Sigal, PhD
- Dorothy Binford
- Kevin S. Oh, MD
- Big Y
- Betty J. Borry Breast Cancer Retreats
- Joel H. Schwartz, MD, FACP
- Children’s Tumor Foundation
- Jeanne Griffin Vaughn, NP
- Jason Maxwell
- James C. Cusack Jr., MD
- Ashley Bonner
- The Center for Cancer Risk Assessment Genetic Counselors at Mass General
- Vicki A. Jackson, MD, MPH
- Phyllis McNally
- Lori Grassette
- Kailie Laflamme, LICSW
- Anne Fallon
- Michelle Boutin, Karen Ingwersen, RN, and Michael Keamy
- Chad Juros
- Lori Wirth
- Jeff Warren
- Mary F. Fay, RN, BSN, OCN
- James E. Bradner, MD
- Linda J. Verville Cancer Research Foundation
- Cristina R. Ferrone, MD
- Tim Cummings, MSW, LICSW
- Comprehensive Grammar School Kids Cancer Club
- Pennies from Heaven
Mass General honors 100 individuals and groups for their diverse contributions to the fight against cancer.
There is strength in numbers and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center proves this each year. the one hundred is the Cancer Center’s annual fundraiser, honoring 100 individuals and groups whose diligence and discoveries, philanthropy and passion have helped advance the fight against cancer. Funds raised at the gala support research, patient care, education and community outreach programs. Meet the Honorees.