The Caring Ambassadors supports individuals in gaining control of their healthcare, regardless of the illness they face.

We provide information, tools, and resources to help those with any long-term disease not only manage their health care after a diagnosis, but improve their quality of life and capacity for healing. As an advocacy organization, we both fight for patient rights and work to build a new generation of patient and healthcare champions. Our disease specific programs for Hepatitis C and Lung Cancer have been helping people obtain the support, assistance, and information they need for over 20 years.

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Week Ending January 14, 2019

Treating HCV in Addiction Patients Receiving Opioid Substitution Therapy
“Direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) produced successful long-term outcomes with rare instances of re-infection in participants receiving opioid substitution therapy (OST) for drug addiction, according to findings from a set of recent studies.”

Lowering the Risk of Hepatitis C Virus Reinfection in HIV-Positive Men
“Hepatitis C infection used to be a concern mainly for people who used injectable drugs. However, it’s become clear that sexual transmission of hepatitis C is not an uncommon occurrence, particularly among men who have sex with men (MCM).”

Louisiana adopts ‘Netflix’ model to pay for hepatitis C drugs
“Louisiana officials announced Thursday that their state would become the first to move forward with a new way to pay for expensive hepatitis C treatments, which could dramatically increase the number of people who can be cured of the liver-damaging disease and provide a model for others struggling to afford the medications.”

Iowa Medicaid Expands Care To Hepatitis C Patients, But Restrictions Remain
“Starting this month more hepatitis C patients can qualify for care under Iowa Medicaid. But some doctors and advocates argue the remaining restrictions are immoral and illegal.”

What’s The Risk Of Getting A Disease From A Used Needle?
“More than 3,700 people had signed a petition requesting safe syringe disposal in the stores’ bathrooms as of Friday. The petition cited fear of exposure to infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, should a Starbucks employee accidentally come in contact with a used needle while cleaning the bathroom or emptying the trash — something multiple employees have reported happening.”

Hepatitis C Genotype 3 Treated with Shortened Glecapravir/Pibrentasvir
“An integrated analysis of data pooled from phase 2 and 3 trials supports the approved indication of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P) for hepatitis C virus (HCV)genotype 3 (GT 3) and confirms the efficacy of a shortened, eight-week duration of treatment in absence of cirrhosis.”

‘Nominal pricing’ can help prisons and jails treat hepatitis C without breaking the bank
Across the United States, about 1 of every 7 individuals in jail or prison has chronic hepatitis C. In some states, such as New Mexico, it’s closer to 1 in 3. With approximately 9 million people spending time in prison or jail over the course of a year, more than 1.2 million incarcerated individuals have chronic hepatitis C.”

Hepatitis C continues to plague nation, WV
“ A new study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal highlights the growing incidence of reported hepatitis C infection in the United States, largely in areas impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

Hepatitis C virus core protein modulates several signaling pathways involved in hepatocellular carcinoma
“Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection plays a major role in HCC development. The molecular mechanisms by which HCV infection leads to HCC are varied.”

Week Ending January 14, 2019

Could CRISPR reverse drug resistance in lung cancer?
“Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing combined with traditional chemotherapy, researchers “knocked out” (ie, removed) the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (NRF2) gene to stop lung tumor growth and dramatically decrease tumor volume, according to researchers in a recently published article in Molecular Therapy Oncolytics.

Is Targeted Radiation Therapy Best for Your Early-Stage Lung Cancer?
“Your doctor says you have early-stage lung cancer. Although it’s always difficult to learn that you have cancer, outcomes are typically better when you catch and treat lung cancer in its early stages.”

Pyrotinib Shows Activity in HER2-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
“Pyrotinib, an irreversible pan-HER receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, showed activity against HER2-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in preclinical experiments and in a phase 2 clinical trial ( Identifier: NCT02535507).1 The results were published online December 31, 2018, in Annals of Oncology.”

Treatment Breakthroughs Advance Care Across Heterogeneous NSCLC Population
“Single-agent immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and combinations of the 2 are demonstrating durable responses of up to 7 years in subsets of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), giving physicians hope that the benefit can be extended to a greater proportion of patients, said Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD.”

A Journey With Lung Cancer
“Two years ago, at the age of 55, Terri Ann DiJulio was diagnosed with lung cancer—for the second time.”

Presence of Preexisting Antibodies Linked With Clinical Benefit After Anti-PD-1 Therapy for NSCLC
“The presence of preexisting antibodies is associated with clinical benefit and the development of immune-related adverse events in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) therapies nivolumab or pembrolizumab, according to a recent study.”

Targeted Therapies Extend Overall Survival in Patients with Stage 4 ALK-Positive Lung Cancer
“Half of patients diagnosed with stage 4, ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 2009 and 2017 were alive 6.8 years after diagnosis compared with just 2 percent of those diagnosed between 1995 and 2001 alive for five years, highlighting the importance of good targeted therapies, according to study findings published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.”

How radiologists can eliminate these 4 lung cancer screening barriers
“A new article published in Radiology explores the barriers patients face in undergoing lung cancer screening (LCS), and more importantly, what radiologists can do to encourage their participation.”

Contrary to Previous Studies, Sex May Not Impact Efficacy of Immunotherapy
“Despite previous findings, the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors does not differ between men and women, according to a systemic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Oncology.”

Semaphorin linked to lung cancer treatment resistance
“Lung cancer remains a major cause of mortality across the globe, although we are gaining a deeper understanding of the genetic background behind this disease, including the mutations that promote it. Mutation in the gene EGFR is known to be a particular risk factor for developing lung cancer and for the emergence of resistance to otherwise effective treatments, but the mechanism behind this has remained unclear.”

Broad-Panel NGS Benefits Metastatic NSCLC
“Increasing clinical relevance of less common gene signatures and alterations is leading to a benefit from broad-panel next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to an expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center.”

Resistance to Therapy Clouds Treatment Successes in EGFR-, ALK-Positive NSCLC
“Although researchers and physicians have made advances in treatment options for patients with EGFR– and ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a true understanding of the development of resistance to therapy is yet to emerge, according to D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD.”

Complication rates and costs of invasive lung cancer diagnostic tests may be higher than anticipated
“Complication rates following invasive diagnostic procedures for lung abnormalities were twice as high in the community setting compared to those reported in lung cancer screening trials, and associated downstream costs ranged from $6,320 to $56,845 on average, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.”

Week Ending January 14, 2019


Even a Little Exercise May Help Cancer Patients Live Longer
“Regular exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis significantly improves odds of survival, a new study finds.”

Many Medical Marijuana Patients Drive While High
“Medical marijuana may help the thousands of Americans who use it, but far too many of these folks are getting behind the wheel while high, new research shows.”

Lifestyle interventions play an adjunct role in managing inflammatory bowel disease
“The use of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) is common among patients living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).”

Mind May Trump DNA in Exercise and Eating Habits
“If you tell people they have a genetic predisposition to a low capacity for exercise or a tendency to overeat, their bodies start to respond accordingly.”

Substances in Coffee May Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies, a New Animal Study Suggests
“Two substances from coffee, acting together, may protect against nerve cell damage and improve behavior in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and a related disease called dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), according to a new study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.”

When the Illness Is a Mystery, Patients Turn to These Detectives
“They are patients with diseases that mystify doctors, people whose symptoms are dismissed as psychosomatic, who have been given misdiagnosis upon misdiagnosis.”

Exercise-induced hormone may protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia
“New research has revealed a hormone released by muscles during exertion may move into the brain and improve memory and cognition.”

PAF Launches New Online Resource Tool for Persons with Migraine Disease to Help Address Healthcare Challenges
“Migraine is a disabling disease that impacts more than 36 million Americans. * At PAF we care about the issues and challenges patients with migraine disease experience when it comes to financial stability, medical debt crisis and insurance products and are pleased to offer a new support tool that patients, providers and caregivers can use.”