In Loving Memory
The Kellie Gearinger Brown Program
at ICAN, The International Cancer Advocacy Network

Exon 20 Group


September 1, 1965-November 18, 2017

What people are saying:

"Because of ICAN, I have an ongoing lifeline of information support plus the moral support of this incredible organization, and I now have a real passion to talk to other late-stage cancer patients … to emphasize the importance of patient empowerment and clinical trials."

"Once again, it was so helpful to talk to someone that understands and could help us navigate our choices. Especially when the choices could have life or death consequences. I will keep you updated and once again,
thank you."

"ICAN was the calm in the midst of our storm. Without their analytical abilities, their network of contacts and above all, their time and compassion, I don't know what we would have done. I'll be forever grateful."

"You were a Godsend at a very scary time in his, and our, lives. Male breast cancer is very rare, and without your help and guidance we wouldn't have had a clue where to turn. I am happy to say that my dad did NOT die of cancer... Thanks again!"

"By keeping in touch with us and intuitively providing us with the information we need to know, ICAN is truly the best "coach" imaginable... As a result, we have been able to express our questions to our oncology team in a compelling manner. Cheers to ICAN - here's to life, to hope, and to vitality!"

In early 2017, Kellie was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer mutation known as non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) EGFR Exon 20 Insertion. This aggressive disease is notoriously resistant to standard chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Kellie was proactive and sought out experts at Hopkins, Sloan Kettering and Dana-Farber. She embarked on the gold standard chemotherapy combination for lung cancer and was accepted six weeks after finishing her last chemo treatment into a new clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.

Because of her participation in this research study, Kellie has provided thoracic oncologists with insights that, in the view of her cancer patient advocates at the Exon 20 Group at ICAN, have already helped other exon 20 insertion patients and their clinicians acquire a deeper understanding of this rare mutation. Kellie is a true testament to the strength and perseverance required in waging an exceptionally valiant war against cancer, and all of us fervently hope that her hard-fought contributions to clinical research will save the lives of other wonderful souls.

In loving memory of Kellie, ICAN, the International Cancer Advocacy Network, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and global oncology network, with whom Kellie consulted since August 2017, now houses The Kellie Gearinger Brown Program which will seek to provide direct navigation to cancer patients diagnosed with exon 20 insertions in the United States and abroad. ICAN is proud to celebrate the life of this extraordinary woman—beloved wife of Marty, cherished mom to Alex, Connor, and Harrison, daughter to Robert, and sister to Steven.

Goals for the Kellie Gearinger Brown Program at the Exon 20 Group/ICAN

ICAN leads the global multi-stakeholder coalition called the Exon 20 Group with the goal of turning an intractable lung cancer diagnosis—typically diagnosed in non-smokers and disproportionately diagnosed in Asian patients—called the non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) EGFR exon 20 insertion and the HER2 (erbB2) exon 20 insertion. These insertions, featuring a stunning array of heterogeneity, are, with few exceptions, resistant to the standard NSCLC arsenal of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

ICAN is working with many of the world's top thoracic oncologists, personalized medicine/precision oncology experts, scientists, molecular profiling laboratories, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, patients, and patient advocates to expand and accelerate the drug pipeline for these underserved patients. Honorary Chairmen thus far include Kenneth Bloom, MD of Human Longevity; John V. Heymach, MD, PhD, of MD Anderson; Bruce E. Johnson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (and current president of ASCO); and Razelle Kurzrock, MD, of UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

ICAN expects to accrue between 800 and 1000 Exon 20 patients beyond ICAN's current case load and provide these patients with vitally needed direct case navigation. ICAN will be launching a global awareness campaign about the importance of sequencing in order to diagnose definitively an exon 20 insertion sequence.



About the Kellie Gearinger Brown Program


Kellie, family and friends photos


Inspiration Kellie lived by


Family and friends share their memories


Literature, news and videos pertinent to the
Kellie Gearinger Brown Program


The Kellie Gearinger Brown Program
is a vital part of ICAN's Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Advocacy Programs.

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About ICAN


ICAN's mission is to assist and empower late-stage patients worldwide with cutting-edge information regarding anticancer drugs in clinical trials as well as physician referrals at the patient’s request based on the patient’s reported medical situation. ICAN takes the position that there are key decision points in the battle for life and with the best available information, the cancer patient will be well-armed for the road ahead.

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