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A Different Perspective

What is Stratified Medicine to a Patient?
Janette Rawlinson
Lung Cancer Research
Stratified Medicine Educational Event
22nd June 2015
Winterbourne House & Garden, Birmingham
What is Stratified Medicine?
• Google provided me lots of waffle –
enough to cure insomnia or at least confirm
my inadequacies!
• What does this mean in English to a patient?
• How would I know?
Educational Background/context
• I speak and understand different languages –
English including Black Country/Brummie!
I am familiar with
Some medical/health terminology
Business and commercial terminology
Economic development terminology
I undertake independent evaluations of various projects so understand
research methodologies and translational aspects of this to change
Educational Background/context
Despite biology, chemistry and mathematics ‘O’ levels amongst my 11 ‘O’
levels and 4 ‘A’ levels, science was not my forte although genetics, human
biology and behaviour fascinated me
Reading research papers, abstracts, websites, and attending conferences or
educational events I realise that I need to be expert in
– Medical science
-imaging and
medical illustration
– clinical practice
– genetics
- pathology
– biology
- applied
– pharmacology
- surgery
– Probability, statistics and analytics
- ethics
– UK healthcare organisational awareness
– clinical commissioning
- Governance and
• Autumn 2006 appointed by Secretary of State as NonExecutive Director of Sandwell Primary Care Trust
• Spring 2007 appointed Chair of Sandwell Community
Healthcare Services – led Transforming Community Services
• Fairly typical NHS patient/consumer/family experience
• Excellent (Dad) versus Poor (sister)
• Uneventful (no broken bones, no kids, tonsillectomy age 4,
childhood onset allergies/asthma, suspected collapsed lung
age 12, hospitalised with asthma age 16, chest infections,
treated with immunotherapy for allergies in 1970s and ‘80s.
Some definitions – where to begin?
‘Stratified medicines are set to transform
healthcare in the next wave of
pharmaceutical innovation.’
‘The future is not far away. We are
already seeing the first wave of these
stratified medicines come into the NHS,
mainly to treat cancer but therapies in
other areas such as neuroscience are also
being developed’
‘Stratified medicines enable us to target
treatments specifically to patient
subpopulations identifying those with the
greatest chance of benefit and the lowest
risk of suffering adverse events. Called
personalised medicine or healthcare in
the US, it is better known as stratified
medicine in the UK to avoid confusion
with individualised healthcare.”
More definitions (2)
• ‘It is not about creating medicines unique to a patient, but rather the
ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their
susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific
• ‘Preventive or therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on
those who will benefit, sparing expenses and side effects for those who
will not’
• ‘As our insight into human biology in health and disease advances, we
come to understand on the one hand, the heterogeneity of disease
conditions and on the other hand, heterogeneity amongst human
population in response to medicine based on their physiological makeup
which can be defined at the pharmacological level. ‘
More definitions (3)
• ‘Many pharmaceutical companies are embracing a stratified approach in
medicine development, and we predict that analysts will see an increasing
proportion of stratification emerging through the pipeline. This is made
possible by the advancement of technology and the ability to build in
predictive and stratifying biomarkers, as well as improved molecular
understanding of disease pathways. ‘
• ‘Put simply, whether patients respond to a particular treatment may
depend in part on the subtype of disease that they have, and therefore
whether the target in the disease pathway that the medicine was
designed to attack is relevant to the disease subtype or their response to
treatment as in example above, or their propensity to an adverse reaction.
?????????? Remind me - which patient did you want me to
ask? Professor Stephen Hawking?
What on earth does this mean?
• Assumptions that patients understand this terminology!
• Patients are not stupid - however they need information in
language and formats they understand
• Recently participated in considering a European standard approach
for lay summaries in research – incredible viewpoints in the room –
patronising and presumptive – plain language does not mean ‘Sun
reader’! (oxymoron)
• Some excellent contributions by Pharma health literacy specialists –
but apart from myself and founder/president of Terence Higgins
Trust, all were researchers, academics or professional patient/public
representatives or US pharma reps!
• Vital to have ‘lay’ people in the room, discussions or design if that’s
the target audience!
• Until they’ve been touched by cancer, many people are unaware
that cancer is not something alien but caused by our own cells
• Most do not appreciate there are over 200 types of cancer
• Immediate reaction is that, for most people, the first thought is of
dying as illustrated by Macmillan and other charity ads
• Many clinicians are nihilistic especially about lung cancer
• Many choose not to find out information about their condition –
leaving it to ‘chance’, ‘God’s will’, ‘we all have to go of something’,
‘well, she smoked, you know’… etc. etc.
• Family members and friends may well start to research or suggest
things that can ‘cure’
• Many well meaning people will raise expectations due to media
• Stigma and myth abound!
• Generally patients trust those treating them to offer them access to
the best treatment options, diagnostic tools and expertise
especially if cancer is a ‘new’ experience for them
• Like cancer cells themselves, patients are different
• Some way into their journey, they may become curious, get more
involved, start to learn about their condition and heaven forbid,
want to change things or contribute to new ideas especially if they
want things to improve
• This may appear threatening to some clinicians
• This may go against their culture, learned behaviour or expectations
• They may find a ‘voice’, ability to influence, participate, give
something back, help others
• Equally they may be relatively passive and not question anything
nor want to learn anything about their condition
Translation difficulties
Many patients unfamiliar with an MDT approach to healthcare never mind a
collaborative/partnership approach to science to stratify medicine for research
Many patients too ill to understand these concepts at the time of diagnosis and
early treatment
Many family members want anything tried that offers chance of prolonging life
(even if unproven or untested)
Some have viewpoints informed by poor science, sensational journalism,
unreliable web sources or celebrity endorsement with little evidence
Patients want access to the best treatments at no cost in line with NHS policy, have
little understanding of how services are commissioned/paid for or organised
Some patients willing to travel anywhere in the country (or overseas if well
enough) to access new treatments if they offer hope even if unsuitable for their
specific cancer
Most unfamiliar with the science behind stratified medicine
Many willing to take part in research
Most unaware how healthcare and especially cancer care is organised in the UK
accepting the branding ‘National Health Service’ at face value.
Patients and research involvement
• Stratification is not a term recognised with regard to treatment
from a GP
• One size fits all – ‘go away and try this treatment and come back if
not working’
• I visited Birmingham CRUK centre many years ago to raise
awareness around breast cancer for a women’s group and learnt of
treatment stratification in breast cancer with Professor Lawrence
Young and thought it sounded amazing but a long way off – sci-fi?
• Many people associate research with ‘being a guinea pig for
untested treatments’
• Many are curious and want to help either themselves or others
• Many have different experiences of research
Let’s look at research via NCPES
National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2012 – 2014
Annual postal survey commissioned by NHS England
Issued to all adult patients treated Sept-Nov
70 detailed questions, 70,141 responses in 2014 = 64%
Consumer pressure introduced 3 questions about
• Analyses by cancer type, Trust, CCG and network with
detailed demographics; age, gender, deprivation,
sexuality, ethnicity
Research questions
• Since your diagnosis, has anyone discussed with you whether you
would like to take part in cancer research? Yes
33% 35%LC
• If yes, were you glad to have been asked?
• If no, would you like to have been asked?
2013-14 – lung cancer statistics
• Have you seen information (e.g leaflets, posters, information,
screens) about cancer research in your hospital?88% 2013 & 2014
• Since your diagnosis, has anyone discussed with you whether you
would like to take part in cancer research?
31% 2013 30% 2014
• If so, did you then go onto take part in research?62%2013 58%
Responses show: It’s OK to Ask!
• 1/3 cancer patients have a discussion about research
• 86% saw information
• 2/3 of those go onto take part in research
• 95% of those asked are glad to be asked
• 53% of those not asked would be glad to be asked
• Taking part in research is associated with better experience of
• Significant and persistent variations by cancer, age, network
and Trust
Consumer satisfaction
• Involvement in research = better patient experience
• In 2013, 87.2% patients did not have a discussion rated care as ‘excellent’
or ‘very good’
• 90.2% had a discussion but did not participate rated care as ‘excellent’ or
‘very good’
• 91.9% had discussion and participated rated care as ‘excellent’ or ‘very
• 12.8% who did not have a discussion rated care as ‘less than excellent or
very good’
• 9.8% who had discussion but did not go onto participate rated care as ‘less
than excellent or very good’
• 8.1% who had discussion and participated rated care as ‘less than
excellent or very good’
Meanwhile, my involvement deepens
• Oct 2012 Appointed as Independent Committee Member to
Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group
• Oct 2012 Invited to RCLCF national conference in Bham as fundraiser.
Attended workshop with patients/carers.
• Met Lyn Barrington –CNS, never smoker – diagnosed stage 4 –less
than a year to live – campaigning to raise awareness and funds for
• Received ad from RCLCF for a new participation opportunity
Experience and Action ...
Less than satisfactory A&E pathway, delays in diagnostics, misdiagnosis, poor
communication, eventually picked up by CT surgeon, lobectomy day 62 with
diagnosis almost 1 month later – BAC, T2, N0, treatment = vigilance
Swam to regain fitness and raise money for RCLCF in memory of friend who died
suddenly from LC mets to bones, liver, spine and brain within 3 days of diagnosis
after 10 days in hospital and 6 months of unnecessary pain (bad shoulder
diagnosis with ibuprofen then community physio as treatment!)
Online research on cancer charity websites patients forums revealed his was not
an isolated case. Shocked to learn how little research was being done into lung
cancer due to stigma/blame – less than 5% of all cancer research funding spent on
this despite so many deaths – a huge disservice to all but especially to never or
former smokers!
Respiratory consultant and patient advocate and CNS Lyn Barrington suggested my
experiences could be put to better use.
What could I do to change things? I consider myself fortunate.. anger at injustice
of research situation can be useful energy if directed wisely!
Entering a new arena
Applied to NCRI Clinical Studies Group as consumer member to help research from consumer
perspective. Appointed Oct 2013. Induction training for NCRI with Macmillan
NCRI conference Nov 2013 – brain overwhelm! A long time since biology ‘O’ level!
Welcomed into ‘cancer research community’ – very supportive
Undertook report of NCRI CSG consumer contribution– abstract/posters accepted by NCRI and
Involve conferences Nov 2014
Attended science training (Elaine Vickers), ICPV VOICE training (Barts Cancer Institute/Queen Mary
University) Sept 2014, invited to help IBC event Dec 2014 Bham cancer Centre
Appointed to NIHR Health Service and Delivery board Aug 2014
Panel member assessing all CSG annual reports 2014
Contacted by CRUK re SMP governance board opportunity – appointed Jan 2015
Survey work on use of mentors within NCRI CSGs 2015
NCRI Conference 2013 and 2014
NCIN Conference 2014 and 2015
BTOG Conference 2014 and 2015
Brain Mets day 2014
Britain Against Cancer Conference 2014
Involve Conference 2014 (co-facilitated NCPES workshop)
NAEDI conference 2015
James Lind Alliance Priority setting workshop on anaethesia and perioperative care
European Lung Foundation to discuss patient priorities for website 2015
EFGCP/EORTC multi-stakeholder event on research lay summaries across Europe
Reading…. Including ‘Emperor of all Maladies’, ‘Anti Cancer’, ‘Cancer is a word not
a sentence’ and others written by clinicians
Listening to others including clinicians, patients, researchers, scientists, peer
consumers, CNS, academics and other professionals
Informed patient?
Scary statistics – largest killer cancer
2nd most common cancer in UK
120 cases diagnosed every day in UK
1.83 million new cases diagnosed worldwide 2012
43463 UK diagnoses in 2011– 1 in 7 all cancer
• 35371 deaths (2012)
• Postcode lottery – wide variations in treatment
offered and success rates
Macmillan’s ‘Cancer’s unequal burden’ report
5% predicted to survive 10 years
89% due to lifestyle/other risks (i.e. 11% not)
Fewer than 1 in 3 live a year or more after diagnosis
1 in 5 (21%) die within 1 month of diagnosis. 56% die within
6 months and 73% within 1 year.
• Fewer than 1% will survive long term in good health. 1 in 20
(5) live for at least 7 years but most will have 1 or more of a
range of other serious health conditions.
• 31% die within 6 months of diagnosis despite cancer not
spreading beyond their lungs.
• UK LC patients 10 times more likely to die within a month
of diagnosis than breast cancer and twice as likely to die
within a month of diagnosis as LC patients in Sweden.
• Surgery is one of few curative treatment options with profound
bearing on survival. Earlier diagnosis needed to improve outcomes
and reduce variance between Trusts
• Interesting research on surgery for older patients and in previously
unconsidered stagings
• Significant improvement in LC services by Trusts employing
specialist LC surgeons – (although wide variation)
• Good data collection identifying most successful and outlier Trusts.
6 fold variation in radical resection rates across England.
• Clinical trial participation very patchy – very poor in many Trusts –
25 Trusts not recruited any patients into a single clinical trial (NCIN)
• Results for 1 year relative/net survival increased across all stages in
2012 compared to 2004-7 . 12% absolute improvement in stage1,
11% in stage 2, 10% stage 3 but no change for stage 4.
• LC research global race and challenge
Other breakthroughs/options
SABR - promising results
Immunotherapy – targeted therapies SMP/lung matrix
Sniffer dogs – electronic noses
Global research – different countries/Pharma/industry partners
More research underway
More trials underway
However – each conference revealing widening gaps between
• UK still very poor outcomes at all stages of cancers (except breast),
• Complex issues – staffing, skills, dated equipment, higher radiation
levels in CT, shortage of radiographers, access to novel agents or
expensive treatments, split in commissioning/Public Health
(screening/treatment/referrals/ CCGs) Etc etc
So which patients did you mean?
Those at the recent European Lung Foundation workshop who having met one patient from Aberdeen on
a trial believe the whole of the UK have access to ‘wonder’ treatments
The German lady who attended this now lobbying her insurance company to pay for such treatments
Those who believe their treatment is less than optimum
Those who lobby for greater involvement in research design (such as NCRI CSGs/CLG/CLF)
Those newly diagnosed
Those who fear the diagnosis having lost loved ones when treatment options were much more limited and
less was known about the disease
Those participating in online forums/closed groups to share hopes, fears, things that may work for us,
those desperately seeking cures/treatments/trial information
Those who suspect or fear recurrence
So which patients did you mean? (2)
• Those, like Lynn, who despite familiarity with medical websites and
hospital information systems, couldn’t navigate her way through available
trials and died Feb 2015 4 years after being given months to live
• Patient groups who inform one another
• Those who attend conferences seeing the latest research findings only to
discover they don’t change clinical practice or improve patient outcomes
• Patients who raise funds for charity and further research not realising
where the money goes nor if/where research data may be published
• Patients who may have unrealistic expectations and raised hopes after
reading a new headline (misinformed)
• Those who sit on CSGs and still find difficulty navigating way through the
data on available trials to inform others
What does it mean to me?
Excited at collaboration between industry, medics and scientists but
at various levels of ignorance about LC early detection, prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and
survival rates even amongst clinicians and commissioners
At lack of shared data
At length of time research takes
At disconnect between world class research, registeries and poor outcomes at all stages for UK LC patients
At rigour of academic science at expense of patient treatments and changing clinical practice
Where is the patient voice?
What is optimum route for patient choice?
Who is responsible for improving medical awareness of research?
Passionate about opening access and spreading the word –
Even those in the system or articulate/familiar with healthcare struggle to navigate information and find out
how to get onto trials – patients often willing to travel anywhere if it offers hope or longer life
Need to raise awareness amongst general public about risk of LC irrespective of smoking history
Convinced of the need to reduce and remove stigma – nihilism – rife amongst media and
professionals! Patients are not all to blame!
SMP may still be in its infancy but the expectations are high!
Who are these patients?
Are these how you see patients?
Scans, slides, tissue samples, x-rays, digital images, slices??
Cancer types?
Stage of disease?
Age/gender/smoking status/exposure to carcinogens/deprivation level/poor educational
attainment/social status?
Or something more??
Are we people? With feelings, families, hopes, jobs, dreams?
Who are these patients?
Images described at conferences- top row and
second row, never smokers (RIP Sian Busby, Cassandra Jardine, Lyn Barrington)
Patient Preferences
• Access to the right diagnostics and best
treatment for their cancer
• Right treatment, right time, right place
• Free of charge
• Risk free
• Patient choice
• Guarantees
• Assurance
• Information presented in plain language that can
be understood at difficult times
Patient Preferences (2)
Timely referral
Quicker results from any tests
Signposting to others who can help
Ability to travel if able to other centres
Reliable quality and safe services
Minimal side effects
To be asked about research or trial opportunities
Patients are not all the same!
It’s OK to Ask!
Views about perception of care is significant – that counts for a lot so please remember to ask
Different patients have different views at different parts in their journey
One day, it could be you – wouldn’t you want to be asked?
Patients expect research to be published irrespective of outcome to benefit others
Patients expect data to be shared for advancing research (not recognisable patient data but the science
behind it)
Treatments following research are only useful if they can be accessed
Is it ethical to approve clinical trials if NiCE would not approve the payment through the NHS?
Should we lobby for a Cancer Treatment Fund rather than a Cancer Drugs Fund?
Shouldn’t other treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery be considered on their merits dependent on
the cancer type and stage and patient fitness?
How do we raise awareness amongst policy makers regionally, nationally and internationally that the
goalposts are changing so new methods of commissioning/treatment funding are needed?
Medicines are only of use if they reach patients. Payment frameworks need to change as the cost of
developing these will reflect the additional complexity of stratification as well as diagnostic development
and will be used by smaller patient numbers but the prize is potentially huge!
Need to reduce variation and level playing field between nations, sites and cancers
Involving patients
Journeys may be different
Many people don’t know how to react
My Respiratory consultant suggested involvement –I am now involved….
Met TYA consumer rep at NCRI conference 2013 who changed my thinking/approach – Stephen Sutton
Realised I could use my experience for good and contribute personal and professional experience to
improve situation
Met inspirational and supportive people – humbling.
You don’t have to put it all ‘out there’
There is support – books, information, websites, social media, face to face groups, researchers, clinicians,
charities, community groups
Many of us have networks and experience from all walks of life that can help the cause…. Just ask!
I have been pleasantly surprised by support from strangers!
Advice to clinicians and
Listen to and involve the customer/patient - -when I met a researcher on SMP, he’d never met a patient!
The journey isn’t linear and differs amongst individuals
Encourage others to learn, follow up and lifestyle implications
Identify resources to help them and you
Symptoms vary considerably
Keep up to date –– new routes, new treatments, new research
Scientists are passionate about disease heterogeneity– Recognise patient heterogeneity! We are more than cells
or science!
Join pathway and integrate services between primary and secondary care to provide seamless support to patients
Remember patients’ mental health needs as well
Get a decent 21st century computer system that can share data!
What next?
• Joining the dots … connecting isolated
• Hungry to learn and contribute where best able
• Direction of travel moved from FEAR to HOPE
• I’ll continue to do my bit (inspired and humbled by Lyn,
Stephen and others who lost their lives)
• What will you do?
Thank you
Janette Rawlinson
Independent Committee Member Sandwell & West Birmingham Clinical
Commissioning Group
NCRI Clinical Studies Group (lung)
NIHR HSDR board lay member
CRUK SMP governance board member
Tel 07903 144360
Acknowledgements : With special thanks to Mr Ehab Bishay and Dr Imtiaz Ahmed for their
treatment and support and Dr Marianne Nicholson for her encouragement
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