Actress Bellamy Young, Merck, and Leading Lung Cancer Advocates Urge Those Impacted by Lung Cancer to Test. Talk. Take Action.


November 29, 2016 7:00 am ET

Young to Help Educate on the Importance of Biomarker Testing in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young lost her father to
lung cancer, and she is now sharing her personal experience as part of Test.
Talk. Take Action
., a new awareness campaign focused on increasing
people’s understanding of biomarkers and the role they play in the
treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The campaign – led by
Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, in
partnership with Young and leading lung cancer advocacy groups –
encourages those impacted by NSCLC to learn about biomarkers and talk
with their health care provider about testing.

Biomarkers, substances that can be found in cancer cells, give doctors a
more well-defined picture of a patient’s lung cancer. In addition to
being used to diagnose cancer, testing for biomarkers can help doctors
make informed decisions about the most appropriate treatment for a
patient’s lung cancer. There are several different biomarkers that can
be used to plan treatment in NSCLC. These include EGFR, ALK, ROS-1, and

“One of the most important parts of the lung cancer journey is becoming
informed about what you and your loved ones are facing,” Young
explained. “When my Pop was diagnosed with lung cancer, we felt helpless
and confused. At the time, I just wanted more resources to help us
understand and manage his treatment and care.”

Leading lung cancer patient advocacy groups supporting the program
include Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Free to Breathe, Lung
Cancer Alliance, Lung Cancer Foundation of America, Lung Cancer Research
Foundation, and LUNGevity. These organizations have made it their
mission to support people impacted by lung cancer through education,
resources and research.

Young knows firsthand what people with lung cancer and their loved ones
are going through; her father went through 10 months of treatment before
he passed away from the disease.

She added, “I’m honored to be a part of a campaign that is designed to
provide people impacted by NSCLC with information that can help empower
them to make informed treatment decisions. I encourage patients and
their loved ones to visit
to get the facts about biomarker testing and start a new dialogue with
their health care providers about the next steps in their treatment.”

Lung Cancer and the Role of Biomarker Testing

Lung cancer, which forms in the tissues of the lungs, usually within
cells lining the air passages, is the leading cause of cancer death
worldwide. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than colon, breast,
and prostate cancers combined. The two main types of lung cancer are
non-small cell and small cell. NSCLC is the most common type of lung
cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases.

Thanks to advancements in lung cancer research, doctors have found that
every lung cancer is different and that they can use biomarker testing
to uncover some of the characteristics of a patient’s cancer. Biomarker
testing is now widely recommended in NSCLC and by testing, doctors can
use the information to plan the best treatment path forward for a

“Everyday scientists are learning more and more about lung cancer,
including how biomarker testing can play an increasingly important role
in the care of people with NSCLC,” said Dr. Suman Bannur Rao, medical
oncologist at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore,
Maryland. “The results of biomarker testing can provide critical
information that enables us to determine the specific treatments that
are more likely to work for a patient.”

“At Merck, we’re committed to helping patients affected by lung cancer,
which includes developing resources to increase understanding about this
disease,” said Jill DeSimone, senior vice president, Merck Oncology. “We
are excited to work with the lung cancer community and Bellamy Young on Test.
Talk. Take Action.
and hope that through education, we can help
inspire patients to be their own health care advocate by talking with
their doctor about biomarker testing and making informed treatment

To learn more about comprehensive biomarker testing in NSCLC, including
PD-L1, talk to your doctor, and visit

About Test. Talk. Take Action.

Test. Talk. Take Action encourages those impacted by NSCLC to
make informed treatment decisions by learning about biomarkers and
talking with their health care provider about biomarker testing.

Biomarkers are like pieces to a puzzle that give doctors a more
well-defined picture of a patient’s lung cancer. In addition to being
used to diagnose cancer, the results of a biomarker test can also help
doctors make informed decisions about the most appropriate treatment for
a patient. In NSCLC, doctors test for the biomarkers EGFR, ALK, ROS-1,
and PD-L1 to inform a patient’s treatment path forward.

To learn more about comprehensive biomarker testing in NSCLC, visit

About Bellamy Young

Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young is currently starring in her
award-winning role on one of Thursday night’s top-rated drama series.
Young has appeared in several major television and film roles, including Criminal
Minds, Dirty, Sexy, Money; CSI: Miami, Another World, We Were Soldiers
Mission Impossible: III, Night Stalker, and will star in
the indie picture Offer & Compromise. Young recently released
her debut album, Far Away So Close, a collection of contemporary
covers influenced by her North Carolina roots. Her professional
achievements include a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best
Supporting Actress, in addition to numerous other honors throughout her

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) 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’s
goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations,
industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families
to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn
lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was
established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and
has raised nearly $30 million for lung cancer research and related
programs. For more information about the ALCF please visit
or follow ALCF on Facebook or Twitter.

About Free to Breathe

Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in
2001 and officially incorporated in 2003. Free to Breathe is a
partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, health
care professionals and industry leaders dedicated to doubling lung
cancer survival by 2022. To ensure that surviving lung cancer is the
expectation, not the exception, Free to Breathe focuses on funding
research with the greatest potential to save lives, and building the
lung cancer community. Our toll-free Support Line (844.835.4325)
provides education, connection to local and national resources, and
opportunities for meaningful engagement to help patients and caregivers
facing lung cancer. For more information, visit
Free to Breathe is “Best Charities in America” certified.

About Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), the highest rated lung cancer charity in the
country, is committed to saving lives and accelerating research and
policy while empowering people living with or at risk for lung cancer.
LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information
services to patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung
cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns attacking the stigma of
the disease, spreading the word about risk and screening and educating
those diagnosed about options and where to go for help; and advocates
for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research.

About Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA)

LCFA’s mission is the dramatic improvement in survivorship of lung
cancer patients through the funding of transformative science, with the
ultimate goal of curing the disease.

To accomplish this, LCFA will work to raise both the funds, and the
national profile of lung cancer through their “30 Days 30 Ways” and “The
Little Things” campaigns, in order to substantially increase support of
innovative and groundbreaking research efforts. Learn more about the
Foundation at

About The Lung Cancer Research Foundation

The mission of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation is to improve and
save lives by funding groundbreaking research for the prevention,
diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer. To date, the Lung Cancer
Research Foundation has funded hundreds of grants totaling $23 million
across the spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research at
leading medical institutions around the world.

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact
on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung
cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective
treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education
for all those affected by the disease. The Foundation collaborates with
survivors, researchers, physicians, government agencies and corporate
and nonprofit partners to meet the unmet needs of lung cancer patients
and their families. LUNGevity’s vision is a world where no one dies of
lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please

Merck’s Focus on Cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology
medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck Oncology,
helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility
to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing
research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the
journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people
with cancer.

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care leader working to
help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States
and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic
therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate
in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We
also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care
through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more
information, visit
and connect with us on Twitter,
and LinkedIn.

Courtney Ronaldo, 908-236-1108
Christiana Pascale, 212-257-6722

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