Merck drafts game plan for lung cancer with awareness campaign expansion

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Merck expands its cancer awareness campaign "Your Cancer Game Plan" to include lung cancer.

As Merck & Co. stacks up indications for its cancer-fighter Keytruda, it’s also adding treatment areas to its cancer awareness umbrella campaign. The latest addition to “Your Cancer Game Plan” is a focus on lung cancer, fronted by former college soccer recruit and lung cancer survivor Taylor Bell Duck.

Merck launched the campaign earlier this year with a focus on head-and-neck cancer and spokesman Jim Kelly, a former NFL star and survivor. In September, Merck added a melanoma focus with former major league baseball star and melanoma survivor Mike Schmidt. The latest expansion takes on the challenges and needs of lung cancer patients, featuring Duck, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 21 after having to drop off her college soccer team.

RELATED: Merck recruits football star Jim Kelly to help head-and-neck cancer patients craft their 'game plans'

Each focus area on the home website includes the starring spokesperson's story, but it also includes everyday patients and survivors in videos talking about their support systems, healthy eating and exercise, adjusting to a new normal with a cancer diagnosis, and more.

The latest cancer effort is a Merck collaboration with CancerCare and five lung cancer patient organizations: Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, LUNGevity, Lung Cancer Alliance, Lung Cancer Foundation of America and Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

“At the center of Your Cancer Game Plan is the person with cancer, which is why we’re thrilled to work with this group of lung cancer survivors on expanding this program,” Jill DeSimone, senior vice president of Merck Oncology in the U.S., said in a statement. “Each of these advocates brings a shared commitment and passion that Merck and our partners hold for educating and supporting the community of people impacted by this devastating disease.”

RELATED: Merck's Keytruda resumes regulatory hot streak with stomach cancer approval

Keytruda now boasts indications in non-small cell lung cancer, head-and-neck cancer, melanoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer and more. Its latest regulatory win was a nod in stomach cancer, which it snagged in late September.