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Media Room

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Media Spotlight


MEDIA ALERT: LVHN Continues Trend of Bringing Advanced Clinical Trials to the Lehigh Valley

Breast cancer patients getting more options for care, right here at home

WHAT: Breast cancer patients in the Lehigh Valley now have even more options when it comes to fighting the disease, thanks to new clinical trials at Lehigh Valley Health Network that have recently started or that will start in the next several months.

The first new clinical trial from drug maker Novartis, the MONALEESA trial aims to find out if experimental drug LEE011 can increase the effectiveness of an endocrine therapy treatment like letrozole. While not strictly a “cure” for breast cancer, this new treatment, if successful, is meant to postpone the need for chemotherapy for up to two years.

“What this trial is about is quality of life,” says LVHN’s principal investigator Ranju Gupta, MD. “Chemotherapy can have very negative side-effects like nausea, hair loss, fatigue and ultimately loss of work. The longer we can postpone the need for that, the better quality of life a patient can have. What would you rather have, infusions several times a month, or swallow a few pills?”

Gupta and the other investigator for this and other breast cancer trials, medical oncologist Savitri Skandan, MD, will host a media event at LVH—Muhlenberg on Wed. Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss this clinical trial and others that LVHN has provided to the Lehigh Valley. The only patient currently enrolled in the MONALEESA trial, Mary Fries of Northampton and another patient Elizabeth Wilensky also will talk about their experiences with breast cancer clinical trials as well.

Reporters interested in covering the event should contact the Lehigh Valley Health Network public affairs office. Interviews with health care professionals and the breast cancer survivors can be arranged.

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lehigh Valley Hospital—Muhlenberg; ECC B, C and D; Bethlehem, Pa.

BACKGROUND: Last May, LVHN’s director of clinical trials for oncology programs, Suresh Nair, MD, explained why LVHN is now a leading site for trials that few institutions can get. “We’ve consistently shown that we’re capable of following the strictest clinical trial protocols and delivering clear results,” says Nair. “The secret is out. We may be an academic community hospital, but our clinical trials program is as robust as you’d find anywhere else in the US. Truthfully, much of our success is because of the dedicated clinical trials staff and teamwork among the physicians, nurses, and staff of the entire cancer program.”

More than two years after partnering with the Moffitt Cancer Institute LVHN is getting an increasing number of important and highly sought after clinical trials.  

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MEDIA ALERT/CALENDAR LISTING: Lehigh Valley Health Network Activities for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has numerous activities planned to call attention to the disease and encourage funding support for research as well as to help women and their families pay for their care and other services.

Here is a list of the educational and participatory opportunities for the community and for possible media coverage throughout the month.  Please include this information in your calendar listing.  Reporters interested in covering any of these events should contact the Lehigh Valley Health Network public affairs office.  Interviews with organizers and health care professionals also can be arranged.

  • Sept. 30: Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton will again make available Althea beer to the public.  For each bottle sold $1 will be donated to the pink ribbon fund for breast cancer patients at LVHN.
  • Oct. 1, 1:30 p.m., Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg: New clinical trials in breast cancer media event. (A separate notification will provide additional coverage details).
  • Oct. 2, 6 p.m., Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg: An information session with Lehigh Valley Health Network oncology specialists discussing advancements and techniques that are making a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Call 610-402-CARE to register. The event is free of charge.
  • Oct. 2, 7 p.m. – Hanover Township Community Center, 3660 Jacksonville Rd., Bethlehem: Hanover Township Community Bingo. The money raised will go to LVHN’s Pink Ribbon Fund.  Early bird games begin at 6:30 p.m. 
  • Oct. 4, 8:30 a.m.-noon – Bucks County Horse Park, Revere, Pa.: Tenth annual Pink Ribbon Ride in the Park benefits women with breast cancer through LVHN’s Pink Ribbon Fund. The ride is open to teams and individual horseback riders, walkers and joggers.  
  • Oct. 5, 10 a.m. - Hanover Township Community Center, Hanover Twp., Pa.: 5k walk from Hanover Township Community Center to the Field of Pink ( on Hanoverville Rd. between Maryann Lane and Gwen Maur Rd., Hanover Twp. At the field, pink flags will be planted to honor those who have fought breast cancer. Flags are available in advance at the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg gift shop for $1. Proceeds benefit LVHN’s Pink Ribbon Fund, which helps local women going through breast cancer treatment pay for household expenses such as child care, electric bill and transportation.
  • Oct. 18, 1-3 p.m. – Lehigh Valley Mall: Paint the Mall Pink is a community program embracing breast cancer and women’s health awareness. Month-long activities include a Tree of Hope as well as an LVHN information table/display where shoppers can make a donation to dedicate a ribbon on the tree to a loved one and support LVHN cancer services. The showcase event on Oct. 18 will feature information focused on breast cancer awareness/prevention as well as women’s health topics.

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