OMF - Rick Germani, 85, non-squamous non-small cell metastatic lung cancer, Providence, RI with Dr. Bruce Johnson, thoracic (lung cancer), Chief Clinical Research Officer, Dana-Farber 8-22-18

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 22nd
In November 2017, Rick Germani made two visits an Urgent Care facility, where he was given two x-rays and diagnosed with pneumonia. When the antibiotics were not working, Rick returned and was given a CT scan. He was sent home without any results.

Rick later received a call from his primary care physician who asked him and his wife, Gini, to visit his office. He informed Rick that his scan showed metastatic lung cancer in both of his lungs. Rick and his physician both agreed that he needed to be treated at Dana-Farber, as it is “one of the best cancer treatment organizations in the world.”

Rick made appointments for a biopsy of the cancer. About a week after the biopsy was completed, he was taken to the emergency room at Cape Cod for breathing difficulties where it was determined that he had numerous pulmonary embolisms. He was then rushed by ambulance to a Boston hospital. His family was told that he probably would not survive.

After 5 days of treatment to dissolve the clots, he was released from the hospital and put on oxygen. During his stay, he met Dr. Bruce Johnson, and was told that he would be his oncologist. Rick did not find out until later that Dr. Johnson was the Chief Thoracic Oncologist, as well as the Director of Clinical Research at Dana Farber.

Dr. Johnson put Rick on a new immunotherapy drug called Keytruda. This helped to dramatically reduce the size of the metastatic tumors. Dr. Johnson has ensured that Rick is able to live a normal life outside of his treatment.

Rick has been retired since 1966 after working as Vice President of Materials and Chief Procurement Officer with several leading tech companies. He also served in the U.S. Army at the end of the Korean War.

Rick has been married to his wife, Gini, for 56 years. They have two daughters, Laura, 54, and Gaiana, 51, and two grandchildren, Colin and Jamie.

Besides treating patients, Dr. Johnson is also a prominent lung cancer researcher. And as Chief Clinical Research officer at Dana-Farber, he can talk about why research plays such an important role at Dana-Farber and in the treatment of cancer.

He recently served as the 2017-2018 President of ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a very important position in the cancer community.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Let me finish pitcher to shoot two. Rick Germany that I get that corrupt jamaat German money. He says he's 85 and he's lying because he really looks a lot younger than 85. And oral friend doctor Bruce Johnson is back to chief political researcher officer. Overton portraits he again doc that's B Rick maybe you couldn't tell us your story here because it's pretty remarkable. When you obviously. When you first found out that you had an issue you got a problem. When I first found on ahead and issue a total with something simple pneumonia because that's what date this diagnosed me with kicked out. And I went through two courses of antibiotics in the doctor could feel it while I was working. To find decent Hitler to a cat again. And they did a cat scan didn't help beating results and send you home. To me if they don't make a call from my primary care physician called me and and had this humble look at the space beneath them and put some bad news this is one. Pieces you could cancer. In both lungs that pathetic it is really serious. And this is okay he's and that's how it started. And because my wife and I said America that a sad case that doesn't sound very good. So this is the end of December of last year. Like mid December I was that they department in the first week I was there and that first with the physician that was that the search who's gonna do the biopsy. Then they did a brain scan the pets pet scans to make sure that. What they do with the cancer was and then on Friday I had the biopsy. And I took the biopsy results and conduct went through pays him. Incidentally a friend of mine happens if that balances that the victims and he said though sometimes it takes several days that they want several tests of the biopsy tissue. That they came back it was I believe not why I'm responsible so. One case. And and after that about three days later. Well I thought it came out well and I went to convert to room and they did another casket. And they found. As a result of by having stopped taking blows that is in my lungs and hopeful look like months. And they were frightened Nicole that endlessly of idioms they told my wife has now that he he felt an epidemic at the Boston. And I did. I'm just yet here yeah they did electable candidate that I suspect and I went into the department of well five days it took beyond low attendance and the clock to resolve themselves. And well as the a couple of times when I first that doctor Johnson to know who was the Newhall lucky I was. Because I found totally did that thought that Johnson was not really the chief domestic colleges he's also director of clinical research. And he's also I think the president of the American uncle. He's a big deal longs then you know he is and you know we have lots of laughter you guys you know looking. So you look anything it is that this doctor Johnson guys it's gonna be my guy when you go. His liberty his background immediately you have to just VO you and your wife OK we'll investigate that can be funny. Think it's I was never told that I was guy. And I suspect thought that Johnson if you'd better medical situation will look like what I was when he met me vs whereas today it people economy. Yeah and that in wanna comment on and and one of the reasons why qualities for two years appearing to be for this fund raisers at. You know when I started twenty years ago Dana Farber. There's very little research on cancer and it's through efforts like this that the discretionary funds that go to do reserve numerous search efforts come from and we work for awhile and and one of the things came out of the basic science research laboratories yet you use immunotherapy. And plant and cancer and no one of the things that that happen. And we've heard some richt talk a little bit about. In what he was like. One thing that happens he was about it is it is yet and still be alive and one we just gave them some in there and it's all wrong way accidentally and seven months can be true and hatred is that the truck it. Yeah that's so that was viewed as this developed over the last twenty years that you were part of these you've helped implement certain to have our scientists that Gordon Freeman and what are being sharp workers to the scientists who. Came up the idea that if you block the certain part of the immune the immune pathway is it you could potentially use as a therapeutic. Application in different types of cancer and it so happens that works among cancer. And we've been involved in the early trials of this and now there's this particular drug that. You tutor him it was meant approved for treating people for substance of people want to answer so. We were able to give it as a single agent just immune there you know key moment no pills no announcement. And get by itself unbelievable this adopt what does what does it take five years ago recovers it. Five years ago we would have done some testing it. You know if he doesn't have a specific one there's there's a few of them that we knew five years ago there are two different ones where. Where and it's about fifteen or 20% wanted to get pills instead Tivo but everybody else they're you know and so. This is all happened in the last that it did they serve improved three years ago so it it's a dramatic advance it took twenty years. But it was twenty years of basic science of search and a clinical research and now it's a broadly. Much more broadly apply it takes time and he's that it takes money team to come up with these studies in these drugs and these remedies and that's what this is all about that. Doc so it's great senior continued to a great work over there we really appreciate it. You reluctantly right I know the right you get the right guy that 85 regular about 65 good luck for the next forty years if you're going to be fine felon. Militants say one final go ahead and elect tonight this justice and we've neglected it was proposed that. For the next two hours. Who will match any contribution with a B five dollars to 500 dollars of the 5000 dollars horrific that is awesome. There until we righted downhill. And it got rid that is unbelievable thank you very much we really appreciate that from you when your wife. Obviously you know how good this hospital is and what they do and the research and you're passing it on and is off to thank you very much.