For US Army veteran Tam Huynh, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) precision oncology program has been the proverbial game changer. Diagnosed in 2016 with stage IV lung cancer and physically depleted by chemotherapy, Huynh learned that treatment based on the precise molecular makeup of his tumors held the potential for improving quality of life. Through the VA National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP), Huynh was matched to a medication shown to help patients whose tumors had the same genetic mutation as Huynh’s tumors. Today, Huynh is not only free of chemotherapy’s debilitating adverse effects, but able to enjoy time with his family and return to work.
Introduction: Precision Oncology Changes the Game for VA Health Care
Carolyn Clancy is Assistant Under Secretary for Health, Rachel Ramoni is Chief Research and Development Officer, and Louise Arnheim is Senior Communications Officer, all in the Office of Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, Veterans Health Administration in Washington, DC.
Correspondence: Carolyn Clancy ([email protected])
The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Federal Practitioner, Frontline Medical Communications Inc., the US Government, or any of its agencies.
With this program, I would tell the physicians and the patients: Don’t just accept your treatment, find out what else is out there. There’s always something new going on, so keep looking. Don’t give up hope.
- Tam Huynh, US Army Veteran1