Every good story has a beginning. The story of LACNETS begins with Giovanna Joyce Imbesi, a jazz pianist and composer who was diagnosed with metastatic neuroendocrine carcinoid cancer (or NET) in 2005. As with any cancer diagnosis, Giovanna’s diagnosis was life-changing. It became her mission to help others in the NET community. She created a lasting legacy through LACNETS. Giovanna founded LACNETS in 2012 with Dr. Edward Wolin as the inaugural speaker for the first of many patient education meetings. At that time, Dr. Edward Wolin was the Co-Director of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Cedars-Sinai, Samuel Oschin Cancer Institute. He was a frequent speaker for LACNETS monthly patient education meetings and LACNETS annual meetings, including the 2016 LACNETS Annual Conference. (Click here to watch the video.) Dr. Wolin played a key role in the history of LACNETS.
As Giovanna’s physician, Dr. Wolin also contributed to the many years Giovanna was able to live fully with NET. But he was more than just her physician; he was her colleague and friend. Dr. Wolin and Giovanna shared a drive to help the NET cancer community and a passion for music. Theirs was a relationship built on mutual respect and admiration. Even after Dr. Wolin moved to NYC, he and Giovanna continued to remain close. They collaborated on several programs to increase awareness in the community, including Carcinoid Cancer Foundation’s CancerCoachLive webinar on living with neuroendocrine tumors (recorded on August 14, 2019).
Dr. Wolin is a highly respected NET expert in the community. In his more than 25 years as a NET oncologist, he has been involved in clinical trials for lanreotide, everolimus, and lutetium-177 DOTATATE (aka Lutathera® or PRRT). Several LACNETS patients have taken part in these clinical trials during his time at Cedars-Sinai.
LACNETS is grateful for the deep connection that allows us to maintain a close relationship with Dr. Wolin. We are also grateful for the technology that allows us to invite him into the comfort of our homes during the current pandemic. On behalf of the LACNETS community, thank you Dr. Wolin for the important role you’ve played in our past and our future from our inaugural meeting in 2012 to your research, education, and patient care. You’ve made a long-lasting impact!
Written by Lisa Yen, NP, NBC-HWC
Director of Programs & Outreach, LACNETS