Treating Lung Cancer With Precision Oncology - Kerstin’s Story

A woman with a backpack is walking down a trail in the mountains.

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2017. I had pains on my right and left side and decided to go and see a doctor. When I was given a blood test, it was determined that I had elevated levels of certain markers in my blood and I was sent to have a CT scan.

Next thing I knew, the oncologist was standing in front of me, telling me that I have a two-centimetre large tumor in my lungs. Suddenly, my world came apart. Consequently, the doctors discovered that I had several tumors... metastases in my lungs, in the pelvis bone, in the spine and the hip.

My doctor ordered tests for various common cancer biomarkers, but they were all negative. I was given a bronchoscopy and operated on, but this didn’t seem to help shrink the tumor. My doctor then told me that the pathologist had tested for an NTRK gene fusion and it came up positive, meaning I could be treated with a precision oncology medicine. When the oncologist told me that there was something specifically for the type of cancer I have, I was naturally extremely happy. It just gave me hope. Hope that I can live. Hope that I can get better again. Because, up to that moment, I was always just 'incurably ill'.

At the time of the start my precision oncology treatment, I was already very weak. However, every day after I started the treatment I started to feel better. It was most noticeable when I woke up in the mornings. The coughing was almost gone on the second day of the treatment. On day three, I stopped having to cough up mucous and blood. On the fourth day, I just felt a huge amount of energy returning to my body. On the fifth day I got on my bike and went on a huge bike ride with my kids, without any shortness of breath or any other complaints. It was just ... crazy! Truly wonderful! I am now once again able to do everything I want to do. I am happy and grateful that everything worked so well. I recently went on a trip with my kids. Together, we climbed 2000 metres to a summit of the Millstätter Alm and it was an unbelievable feeling of joy because all this would definitely not have been possible two months ago.