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Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

The challenge

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The challenge

Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a rare and very aggressive form of cancer with a dismal prognosis and few treatment options. Researchers have discovered that there are more than two dozen mutations associated with this cancer. Several of these mutations are seen in other cancers for which treatments exist that specifically target these mutations.

More than half of CCA patients have at least one of these targetable mutations. In addition, more and more clinical trials are aimed at addressing particular mutations, rather than focusing on a particular cancer.

If CCA patients have molecular profiling performed early in their journey, it could open the door to other treatment options and/or qualify them for participation in a clinical trial. Yet most patients are treated by community oncologists who see very few CCA cases and who, for a variety of reasons, do not routinely refer these patients for profiling.

The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF) had seen our ILLUMINATIONSTM and wanted to use them to increase awareness of the importance of molecular profiling among clinicians and patients. When Bayer invited CCF to apply for a competitive grant, the Foundation asked us to help them with their proposal. From 25 applicants, CCF made the final three, qualifying them for a Shark Tank-like pitch competition at ASCO, for which we helped them prepare.

CCF not only won the competition but was awarded more than the maximum grant. The only request from Bayer: expand the message to make it more cancer-agnostic to serve a broader range of patients; particularly those with rare cancers.

Our approach

The prospect of “profiling” rogue cells lead us to ILLUMINATIONS that offer a USUAL SUSPECTS-inspired set of visual metaphors.

We created cancer-agnostic ILLUMINATIONS for both clinician and patient audiences, carefully crafting the scripts to serve each audience while allowing us to repurpose much of the animation in an effort to contain costs.

At the same time, we really wanted to specifically address the underserved cholangiocarcinoma patients. So we added a CCA-specific message to the end of the clinician piece and created a third ILLUMINATION targeted to CCA patients.

We also translated the patient version into five languages representing regions where CCA is more prevalent.

The result

The ILLUMINATIONS have been incredibly well received—by the Foundation, its sponsors and, most importantly, by the target audiences.

As part of the overall initiative, we worked with CCF’s web development team, providing copy and site design for a Mutations Matter campaign site where the ILLUMINATIONS reside.

To drive traffic to the site, we are working with the Foundation on an ongoing email campaign targeting physicians and patients. We are also working with CCF on a Google Ads (formerly AdWords) campaign.

Finally, we helped the Foundation secure permission from another client, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), to use all of the ILLUMINATIONS we created for SU2C’s Clinical Trials website on the CCF site as well. This helps to expand SU2C’s messaging reach, while adding to the content offerings on CCF’s site, creating a win-win for both organizations.