CU Cancer Center member, Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, honored for his contribution in the fight against lung cancer.  He received the "Hank Baskett Jr. Spirit Award" at the Hank Baskett Golf Classic. From left to right: Hank Baskett III, Kendra Wilkinson, Ross Camidge, Hank Baskett Jr.An investigator from University of Colorado Cancer Center is being recognized for his contributions to the battle against lung cancer.

Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of the thoracic oncology clinical program and associate director for clinical research at the CU Cancer Center is the first physician to be honored with the “Hank Baskett Sr. Spirit Award.”  Camidge received the award May 17, 2013 at the Second Annual Hank Baskett Classic Golf Classic at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Hank Baskett Sr. was diagnosed with lung cancer and in 2012 his son, Hank Baskett III, an NFL wide receiver and co-star of a reality television show along with his wife Kendra Wilkinson, created the Hank Baskett Golf Classic to raise funds and awareness for those affected by lung cancer.  For the last two years, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation – one of the largest and most successful lung cancer charities – has been the major beneficiary of this event.  Since its creation in 2006, the Lung Cancer Foundation has raised over 10 million dollars to further lung cancer research.

“The most sobering statistic is that the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 15.7 percent, and has remained unchanged for more than 40 years,” said Bonnie J. Addario, stage 3B lung cancer survivor and founder of the Lung Cancer Foundation. “We thank the Basketts and supporters of the tournament who are really making a difference in the lives of lung cancer patients, friends and families.”

As a lung cancer survivor and through her expertise, Addario knew Hank Sr.’s response to his treatment was not optimal and she was relentless in making sure he got a second opinion. He was referred to Camidge in Colorado, knowing that he might be a candidate for a targeted drug. Camidge ran a molecular test on Hank Sr. and determined a personalized treatment regime for him. The personalized treatment showed positive results almost immediately.

The Lung Cancer Foundation describes Camidge as one of the leading minds in lung cancer.  When Camidge isn’t treating patients in the clinic, he is working with his research team searching for new and better biomarkers and drugs for patients.

“It’s always rewarding to be recognized for your work,” says Camidge, “But the real reward is seeing patients like Hank Baskett, Sr. benefit from advances in lung cancer treatment. He is taking a targeted therapy that will help him live a longer life with fewer of the side effects often associated with lung cancer treatment. There is nothing better than that for an oncologist.”

The CU Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Program is world renowned for its pioneering treatment of lung cancer. The program includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists and subspecialists working together to establish the best treatment plan for each patient. Advanced molecular profiling of a patient’s tumor, combined with an extensive array of standard and experimental treatments available through clinical trials has led to major advances in patient outcomes in the last few years.

The program’s one-year survival rates for advanced lung cancer consistently run twice as high as the national average. The survival rates at five years run four times higher than the national average. Additionally, the Center’s new Remote Second Opinion Program now offers access to program experts for patients who prefer not to travel.

For an appointment with a University of Colorado physician, please contact Jaylee Santee (720-848-0392) or Bethie Jean Philippe (720-848-3386), intake coordinators for the lung cancer program.

About University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 41 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.”  CU Cancer Center  is headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six health delivery institutions: University of Colorado Health System (including University of Colorado Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Memorial Hospital), Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change.  BJALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $10 million for patient programs and lung cancer research and started another foundation called ALCMI (Addario Lung Cancer Foundation) which is devoted exclusively to research.