The Group Room -- the nationally syndicated radio call-in talk show about cancer -- will feature an multidisciplinary panel of cancer experts discussing the latest advances in lung cancer research, screening and treatment from CHEST 2001 -- the American College of Chest Physicians' (ACCP) 67th annual scientific meeting, Sunday, Nov. 4, 4-6 pm ET (1-3 pm PT), from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.

The program will help launch Lung Cancer Awareness Week (Nov. 12-17), an educational effort to raise awareness, encourage early diagnosis, share new treatment developments and screening methods, and offer support to lung cancer patients and their loved ones. The campaign is supported by Cancer Care Inc., the Oncology Nursing Society, The Wellness Community and the ACCP's CHEST Foundation and funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The Group Room airs live every Sunday in select cities throughout the United States, reaching more than half-a-million radio listeners a week in addition to its worldwide web audience, which hears the show simulcast on the Internet at It is produced by Los Angeles-based Vital Options International TeleSupport Cancer Network in association with Premiere Radio Networks, the nation's largest radio network.

Callers can enter discussions by dialing 1-800-GRP-ROOM (1-800-477-7666). In addition, the live remote broadcast will include a studio audience of oncology professionals and members of The Wellness Community of Philadelphia and will be videotaped by OncoLink for viewing at any time at

"With lung cancer incidence on the rise, it is especially important for Vital Options and The Group Room to partner with other organizations such as Cancer Care, The Wellness Community and the CHEST Foundation to reach as many people as possible with a message of knowledge and hope about the promising new diagnostic and treatment options now available for lung cancer," said Selma R. Schimmel, Founder and CEO of Vital Options International and host of The Group Room.

Joining Schimmel on the program will be:

-- Dr. Diane E. Stover, Chief, Pulmonary Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; President-elect CHEST Foundation, ACCP.

-- Dr. David Yankelevitz, Co-Director of Lung Cancer Screening Center and Professor of Radiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

-- Patricia Wellenbach, Executive Director, The Wellness Community, Philadelphia.

-- Win Boerckel, MSW, CSW, MBA, Oncology Social Worker at Cancer Care of Long Island; Lung Cancer Program Coordinator, Cancer Care Inc.

-- Dr. Gerard A. Silvestri, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Respiratory Care, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

-- Dr. Frank Detterbeck, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of Multidisciplinary Thoracic Program, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

-- Dr. Joseph Treat, Medical Director, Temple University Cancer Center; Vice Chairman, Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase-Temple Cancer Center.

-- Dr. Leslie Botnick, The Group Room's Radiation Oncologist, who will be calling in from the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's (ASTRO) annual meeting in San Francisco.

All phone calls to The Group Room are screened by a licensed oncology social worker. During the week, individuals can reach Vital Options for support or to receive more information about cancer resources or stations carrying the broadcast.

Founded in 1983 when Schimmel was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, Vital Options was the first organization to address issues related to young adults with cancer before expanding to include issues and information related to everyone touched by cancer. In 2001, Vital Options was officially renamed Vital Options International to reflect its international expansion.

Vital Options International is a not-for-profit cancer communications, support and advocacy organization headquartered in southern California. Vital Options and The Group Room are supported through educational grants from founding sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and corporate sponsors Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., Pharmacia Oncology and Genentech BioOncology Inc.

Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., and Pharmacia Oncology are also the leading sponsors of Vital Options International's growth in the European market.