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Mar 9, 2017 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

Hi Linda,You have me at a disadvantage. Although I had a lobectomy for lung cancer some 2 1/2 years ago, and have been an interested participant in the Mayo Clinic Connect group in the past, I have not been part of any recent conversations. Furthermore, when I did have my lobectomy, which was done using the VATS procedure, the pain was very minimal during my hospital stay and has been basically non-existent ever since. There is an area of my rib-cage that has some numbness, which is probably a permanent condition. But, fortunately for me, there is no pain. So I’m not sure whether you contacted me in error, or whether you have a record of something I’ve discussed within Connect in the past, but am now failing to recall.Alvin

Nov 17, 2016 · Question about Lung Cancer in Lung Cancer

As someone with lung cancer who had half a lung removed two years ago, and who still has some numbness in one area of my rib cage, I can offer the following information. When I spoke to my surgeon about the numbness many months after the surgery, he stated that sometimes the nerves in this area are damaged during surgery, and that there may be pain or numbness afterward. Furthermore, he said, that pain or numbness may eventually disappear, or it may remain permanently. Apparently, it’s not predictable ahead of time. Although some of us may have had an experience similar to yours, I would still suggest that you check with your own surgeon or family physician to confirm that your pain and numbness are normal, and whether there is some safe and effective way to alleviate the pain.
Good Luck!

Nov 5, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer


Your story is amazing and inspiring! My family and friends regard me as one who is emotionally very strong (I also survived prostate cancer 15 years ago, and afterwards counselled a number of other men who were facing similar challenges). However, no matter how emotionally balanced a person may be, there is no doubt that learning of the life experiences of people, such as yourself, is a tonic and means a great deal to those of us who are coping with a good deal of uncertainty. As I proceed along this journey, there are many things to think about (and think over). And certainly, among those things, I will be mindful of, and inspired by, the considerable challenges which confronted you and the way in which you have met and continue to meet them.
Thanks so much again for the gift of your good words!


Nov 4, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

As an update to my previous comments, I had a very good telephone conversation today with the Chief Technology Officer of IMBIO. He was very knowledgeable, informative and generous with his time. It is now clear to me, based on the information he provided, that the CANARY technology, whose status I’ve been trying to clarify, is still under review by the FDA and is probably still a few years from being commercially available.

This really has addressed my concern. I had wanted to understand whether the CANARY technology was available, or was soon to be made available. As with any cancer patient, if it had been available and had already proved to be very prospective in enhancing the accuracy of long nodule diagnosis, I would have wanted to avail myself of it. But, as this is not yet the case, I believe I can feel assured that I’m not missing out on a medical opportunity. And while this technology is not available at this time, hopefully it will come to fruition in the not-too-distant future and will be of great value to those who can benefit from it.

I believe in “paying it forward”, Colleen. Therefore, first I will keep you apprised of any significant developments that I become aware of. Second, if you believe that I can be of some assistance, as a non-expert, in providing a measure of guidance to others based on my own investigations (again, achieved with your considerable help), I would be very pleased to do so. In this regard, although my question regarding CANARY’s availability has now been answered, I will nevertheless continue my research into the overall topic of lung nodule diagnosis and prognosis.

Best Regards,


Nov 4, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

Open Sesame! Your efforts (very much appreciated, and very effective) have paid off. This morning, I received an email from Dr. Bartholmai of the Mayo Clinic, whose on-line technical paper initially spurred me to make this inquiry about new Mayo Clinic diagnostic technology for improved analysis of lung cancer CT scans. He apologized for the delay, indicated that I should expect to be contacted by IMBIO, the firm which will be commercializing the Mayo Clinic technology, and provided me with some further on-line leads in this area of technology which I will eagerly follow up. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from IMBIO, who confirmed that the Mayo Clinic’s CANARY diagnostic technology is not yet FDA approved, but that they were open to further discussions on the broader testing of that technology. At their suggestion, I hope to have further conversations with IMBIO in the very near future.
Thank you again for your interest and your help. And when it comes to offering thanks, I will be following this up in the next few days with an email to Linda in appreciation of her wonderful comments and encouragement.


Oct 31, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

Colleen, I will look forward to any further light which you are able cast on this situation. As I understand it, CANARY does not involve a new drug or a novel surgical procedure, but rather the use of math (statistical analysis) to better categorize lesions that appear on CT scans of human lungs, so that a more refined diagnosis (and prognosis) is achieved. To accomplish this, as I understand it, the Mayo Clinic team applied their new technique to CT scans of human lungs and carried out follow-up work so that they could correlate their diagnosis/prognosis, as generated by CANARY, with actual outcomes over subsequent years. Therefore, I don’t understand why commercialization of this technology (which consists of software), would need to undergo the various stages of testing, and the long periods of evaluation, that are required in the case of new drugs or invasive procedures, Thanks again. Alvin

Oct 31, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

Colleen, Thank you very much for the prompt and informative reply. To the extent that CANARY is still in the pilot phase, I’m curious about the nature and extent of the “piloting”. For example, does this piloting involve a protocol whereby many institutions are testing out the CANARY software in a prescribed manner, so that the results from all of these participating institutions can then be aggregated and analyzed? If so, can we be made aware of which institutions are participating, and of the anticipated time frame for developing a marketable product? If, on the other hand, the pilot phase is purely software-oriented (e.g., consists of tightening up the existing software logic, and making it more user-friendly), then perhaps we just have to wait until we’re notified that the software is ready for marketing. Any further insights in this regard, including anticipated (estimated) time frame to bring the product to market, would certainly be appreciated. In making this request, I’m assuming that IMBIO, as the firm which signed an agreement some time ago to commercialize this Mayo Clinic technology, has prepared and implemented a development plan.
Thanks again.

Oct 30, 2016 · Lung Cancer - Improved Diagnosis and Prognosis in Lung Cancer

Two years ago, cancer was identified on a lobe of my left lung and the lobe was surgically removed. Now, a non-specific lesion has been identified on the remaining lobe of that lung (CT Scan). Is this new lesion likely to become malignant? The Mayo Clinic has developed a new analysis technique, based on CT Scans, for assessing the risk that one of these lesions will become malignant (the technique is referred to by the acronym “CANARY”). Supposedly, the new software that is the core of the CANARY technology is being commercialized by a firm called IMBIO. In the interest of getting the best possible diagnosis of my new lesion, I am interested in determining the availability of this new technology. However, attempts to contact the Mayo Clinic as well as IMBIO appear to have fallen upon deaf ears, as I have received no response after more than a month of inquiries at both institutions. If the CANARY technology is indeed now commercialized, why can’t I simply find out where, and under what terms, it’s available to cancer patients (including me)? I would appreciate a response and some appropriate guidance from a Mayo Clinic professional. Thanks.