Issue #3
october 15, 2022


The Pulse of Oncology Compass
“My Life with Breast Cancer”
Julia Curty: Five years after her diagnosis
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Oncology Compass supports MSD Awareness Campaign
from the Editorial TEAM

Why I Joined the Scientific Board

Our experience and knowledge in the treatment of advanced melanoma is rapidly evolving. Over the last decades, we have seen many new approvals of therapies for our patients. There are six kinase inhibitors, four antibodies acting as checkpoint inhibitors and one gene therapy product derived from a replicating herpes virus.

Dabrafenib and Trametinib, as well as Pembrolizumab and Nivolumab are already approved in the adjuvant settings. The wealth of therapy options available is a major challenge for the treating Dermato-Oncologist in a variety of  clinical situations. It is essential to understand the pros and cons of each specific intervention.

A deep understanding of the clinical trials that resulted in the approval of the medications and data on the combination of treatment approaches are mandatory. In this complex field, it is essential to have easy and direct access to a medical knowledge base that contains the major practice-relevant publications of a specific medical topic from the last decade, as featured in Oncology Compass.
Prof. Reinhard Dummer
MD, Professor at University Hospital Zürich and Scientific Board Member at Oncology Compass for the Melanoma Indication
Interview with Julia Curty
Julia Curty: My Life with Breast Cancer
Roland Schäfli
Interviewer, Head of Content at Capptoo AG
Julia Curty, born in 1977, mother of two children, received her first diagnosis at the age of 40: hormonreceptor-positive / HER2+, multifocal breast carcinoma.

In the past five years she received the following therapies: 2017 mastectomy and reconstruction with left implant, chemotherapy, antibody therapy, and anti-hormone therapy. In 2020, an implant was replaced due to a suspected rupture. She is a board member of EUROPA DONNA, the only patient organization for women with breast cancer in German-speaking Switzerland.
Julia Curty, now 45, keeps fighting breast cancer. “This risk of recurrence is still too high”.

© Andrea Rufener Photography
Ms. Curty, you just got back from your oncologist. Where are you today, five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
We discussed treating the cancer for another five years. The risk of a recurrence is still too high. We will extend the artificial menopause by two years. For me, however, it is important that cancer does not become my purpose in life.
“The diagnosis five years ago changed my life and shaped me personally. Not just me – my family too.”
You received the diagnosis at an age when many women think: That doesn't affect me yet. How can you sensitize 40-year-olds to deal with the risk?
That's the big question that drives us at EUROPA DONNA: How and where do we reach out to the younger women? At that age I also thought: that does not concern me. Until I accidentally discovered the lump in my armpit. No one ever told me about breast cancer screening. I remember the doctor saying, "It doesn't look good." I hardly had time to think. All your life is suddenly turned upside down. That same afternoon I was in the MRI, and the week after that I already had the mastectomy.
“Breast Friends” by ©
You have decided to become an active patient. Just one year after the diagnosis, you were trained as a patient advocate by EUROPA DONNA in Milan. You are therefore available as a contact person for those affected. What question do you get asked the most?
From the unaffected: How did you know, did you feel that you had breast cancer? From those affected: How do you deal with having the poison of chemotherapy running through your veins ? Is your hair falling out? We are an interface between medicine and patients, but we are not a self-help group. We want to support others through our experiences.
EUROPA DONNA is also committed to political goals. In Switzerland, for example, it advocates for nationwide mammography.
We bring these demands to the public. We often succeed in attracting some attention. However, it takes a lot of energy to keep the interest of the public going. We must stay motivated.
Julia Curty’s department at EUROPA DONNA is “Fit & Fun”. Studies show that active patients are better able to deal with their illness.

© Julia Curty
“This can show you how quickly you can go from a healthy woman to a breast cancer patient yourself.”
Creating awareness is also the aim of the events held in October with EUROPA DONNA in Swiss cities (see page 10): young women in particular are approached there by medical professionals to learn how to examine their breasts properly in a short time.
It is important to educate young women about early detection. They should learn how to easily incorporate palpation into their daily routine. In other countries, these concerns are much broader. Here we are just a few women who are actively involved. Some time ago we had volunteer runner in our ranks as the “Breast friend ”, she seemed very healthy. Soon after, she was diagnosed herself. The good thing about it: one of the reasons she went to see a doctor was because she had heard from so many of us how important early detection is for survival. This can show you how quickly you can go from a healthy woman to a breast cancer patient yourself.
EUROPA DONNA also wants to promote the early detection of breast cancer through sporting activities. The “Breast Friends” volunteer at Swiss fun runs to raise awareness for breast cancer.
“You are often asked if you are afraid of death.
How did you overcome that?”
“I overcame that by accepting that my life is finite. But also by living my life very consciously.”
User Data

Platform Stats in Q3 2022

13 Scientific Leaders
selected practice-relevant publications for lung, renal, gastro-esophageal and melanoma cancer.


New users since January 2022

The number of oncologists using the platform continues to grow. We expect further growth in Q4 2022.


Total active users on the Platform

We are proud that Oncology Compass is becoming an increasingly important tool for oncologists.
Users by place of work
Private Practice
Small/Private Hospital
University/Cantonal Hospital
Website Visitors & DEVICES
We are proud that Oncology Compass is becoming an increasingly important tool for oncologists.
Website Visitors
Avg. Session
2m 43sec
Sessions per Returning User
Avg. Session per Returning User
5m 35sec
Avg. Session per Registered User
3m 43sec
Pages per Session per Registered User
Need specific audience data?
Our data analysts will do their best to make it happen.
Contact Marija Galić for more info.
looking for medical writers

How I got to be a Medical Writer for Oncology Compass

Dr. Annefleur Langedijk
Postdoc Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, the Netherlands and Medical Writer at Capptoo AG
© Annefleur Langedijk
My personal goal is to promote and improve knowledge sharing in the oncology field. In 2020, I took the step to start working as a medical writer. Starting can be scary. Starting means you put yourself out there. Facing failure. The problem with this is summed up brilliantly by the famous ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In other words, you can’t succeed until you try. And that means you have to take action. I love writing. In addition, it has always been important to have a job that is meaningful to me. Two things that helped me make up my mind answering the call of the Oncology Compass.

While I had been writing in academia before, this was a next step towards my goal. Reflecting and building on what I have learned from taking that step, is that action changes reality. I am still excited to have joined the Oncology Compass team and to create meaningful content. It helps me to better understand recent literature with the goal to improve healthcare for cancer patients. To improve knowledge sharing, identifying experts is key. Expert knowledge is highly critical to Oncology Compass’ success.
medical writers needed
Looking for Medical Writers
Capptoo is always looking for talented and experienced medical writers to support the growth of Oncology Compass. Please share this message with anyone who might be interested.

Contact Ana Najcer for more info.
breath cancer month
platform promotion

Oncology Compass in Barcelona

Capptoo’s medical writer Annefleur Langedijk (on the right) attended the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress during September 4-6 in Barcelona, Spain.

Highlights of the ERS Congress included presentations from the dedicated thoracic oncology track that has been developed by experts in the field of respiratory tumours. The latest developments and controversies in lung cancer management were covered during the state-of-the-art session. Four key areas were unraveled in which critical new observations have been made in the past year, and updates were provided on the clinical management of lung cancer patients. Moreover, innovations in interventional pulmonology were discussed, from beams to tunnels to robots. We hope to connect again during ERS 2023 next year in Milan, Italy, September 9-13!

The ERS 2022 Congress was an inviting opportunity to meet many of our Oncology Compass colleague scientists and doctors.
NSCLC updates

Oncogenic drivers in NSCLC with Oncology Compass Scientific Leader Dr. Alfredo Addeo

Dr. Alfredo Addeo, Consultant medical oncologist leading the thoracic malignancy team at Hôpitaux Universitaires Genève and one of Oncology Compass’ scientific leaders, held a presentation as part of Medtoday’s "Oncogenic drivers in NSCLC” webinar series about therapy considerations for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The Medtoday platform reports about the most important medical congresses and creates events for year-round knowledge exchange through innovative formats.
“Next-generation ALK inhibitors incredibly moved forward. We have very good drugs as first-line.
Dr. Addeo introduced a series of the most significant practice-changing trials for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer which indicate that next-generation ALK inhibitors are suitable for first-line treatment of this patient group. These included the ALEX trial, the ALTA-L1 trial, the eXalt3 as well as the CROWN trial. According to Dr. Addeo's professional experience, treatment with alectinib has significantly changed the oncology practice for this type of cancer.
issue highlight

Breast Cancer Month

On the occasion of October's breast cancer month, MSD Switzerland carries out an information campaign on breast cancer prevention for the first time, in which EUROPA DONNA Switzerland is taking part. Under the slogan “Say no to breast cancer, say yes to early detection” women (and men) of all age groups are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and take an active role in breast cancer prevention. In the Pink Cube, a pink container, free breast examinations are offered.

Using the 3-3-3 rule, visitors learn how to examine their own breasts. In addition to external changes such as shape, color and size of the breast or nipples, regular palpation helps to discover hardened areas, swelling and bulging.Not every discovered change is cause for concern. Nevertheless, further medical clarification is important.
Visualization of the inside of the Pink Cube.
issue highlight

EUROPA DONNA Raises Awareness of Breast Cancer

EUROPA DONNA works to raise awareness of breast cancer and to improve breast cancer services by promoting early detection and treatment as well as research. It holds information campaigns such as Breast Health Day on October 15, 2022 to raise awareness of the role of lifestyle choices in reducing the risk of breast cancer. The organization promotes access to optimal breast cancer services by collaborating with European and national policymakers. Its efforts at the European Parliament led to the adoption of the European Parliament Resolutions on Breast Cancer and the Written Declaration on the Fight Against Breast Cancer.

EUROPA DONNA works with European scientific organizations and is a co- organizer of the European Breast Cancer Conference in partnership with the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). It provides the patient's perspective on international breast cancer trial committees and is a member of the Breast International Group Scientific Committee. The organization holds Pan European Conferences for advocates every two years as well as annual Advocacy Training courses.
special guest
3 Questions to Donatella Corbat
President of Europa DONNA Switzerland, diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2001
What is currently the most urgent concern of the patient organization EUROPA DONNA Switzerland, which you chair?
The early detection of breast cancer. Recognized and treated as early as possible, it is usually curable. The breast can often be preserved and the therapies are less stressful. The most important method for early detection in women over 50 is still mammography. The evaluation of a long-term Swedish study shows that regular and continuous participation in mammography screening programs can prevent breast cancer deaths. In Switzerland, we have been fighting for such an early detection program for all women between the ages of 50 and 70 for many years, but so far only about half of the cantons have introduced it, which makes access to prevention programs totally unfair in Switzerland.
Has the activity in recent years increased awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection?
We repeatedly draw attention to our demands with visible appearances. Even after 14 years, the picture of bras fluttering in front of the Swiss Federal Building is not forgotten. Every year on October 15th, we celebrate the international EUROPA DONNA Breast Health Day, where campaigns are used to draw attention to the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of early detection. Through targeted information, we also promote the competence of the patients and point out the right to a second opinion and certified breast centers. With “Simply the Breast” the first public congress on breast cancer was organized; the sequel will take place on March 4, 2023 in Bern.
How has breast cancer changed your own life?
It's been 21 years since my diagnosis. I am very grateful that I am still alive and living well despite the bad prognosis at the time. Certainly there were also moments of despair and fear in the early years. My commitment to EUROPA DONNA Switzerland certainly helped me. The many contacts with those affected at home and abroad have pushed my own illness into the background.
On the right: One for the record books: 19,500 Bras were sent to the Swiss Federal Building. 1500 were hung up.


Thank you & see you in January!

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Oncology Compass is a service of Capptoo for physicians. The information contained therein reflects the independent opinion, expertise and experience of the scientific board. This view is not necessarily that of Capptoo.

We have no influence on the selection of publications referenced on the Oncology Compass website. Information related to any product(s) may not be consistent with the prescribing information.
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Anne Jäkel
Senior Medical Writer
Annefleur Langediijk
Medical Writer
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Medical Writer
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Medical Writer
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Marija Galic
Social Media
Dejan Dragasevic
Roland Schäfli
Head of Content
Ana Najcer
Oncology Compass Coordination and Administration
Tanja Palm
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