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  1. LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused organization, announced the funding of two research teams that will focus on lung cancer interception: catching precancerous cells and blocking them from turning into cancer cells. These awards are the first-ever Stand Up To Cancer awards focused on the early detection and interception of lung cancer and build on LUNGevity’s eight-year direct investment in critical early detection lung cancer research. "Finding lung cancer early, when it is most treatable, is a critical step to saving thousands of lives," said Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity, "especially since currently only 15% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. Our long-term strategic focus and investment in finding better ways to detect, diagnose, and now intercept lung cancer in its earliest stages is strengthened by this collaboration with SU2C and the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative. It is our goal to find noninvasive, widely available diagnostic and early detection tools that will dramatically change outcomes for people with lung cancer.” The interdisciplinary and multi-institutional awards include a Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team, and a Lung Cancer Interception Translational Research Team. SU2C-LUNGevity Foundation-American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team: Intercept Lung Cancer Through Immune, Imaging, & Molecular Evaluation (InTIME) Funding: $5 million Leader: Avrum Spira, MD, professor of medicine, pathology and bioinformatics, and director of the Cancer Center at Boston University-Boston Medical Center Co-leader: Steven Dubinett, MD, associate vice chancellor for research at UCLA and director of the lung cancer research program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center The Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team will develop diagnostic tools, such as nasal swabs, blood tests, and radiological imaging, to confirm whether lung abnormalities found on chest imaging are benign lung disease or lung cancer. To protect against recurrence of disease that has already been successfully treated, new blood tests will help identify patients at the earliest stages of recurrence, enabling timely interventions such as immunotherapy. "We plan to develop technology that can, in a very sensitive way, pick up the small amount of DNA that might be present in the blood of someone who’s harboring a lung cancer deep within their lung tissue – a noninvasive way of measuring a person’s risk of having lung cancer," Dr. Spira said. SU2C-LUNGevity Foundation-American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Translational Research Team: Blood-based Early Interception of Lung Cancer Funding: $2 million Leader: Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, and director of the Center for Innovation in Early Cancer Detection (CIECD) at Massachusetts General Hospital Co-leader: Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine The Lung Cancer Interception Translational Research Team will develop a lung cancer interception assay (LCIA) that can be used in conjunction with low-dose CT scans, based on blood-based assays that examine circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA. After completing pilot testing as part of this Translational Research Grant, the team plans to move the LCIA forward to larger, prospective clinical trials. "It’s extremely frustrating that we’re not technically able to find lung cancer earlier in the majority of patients,” Dr. Sequist said. “We need to change the paradigm that we use to identify patients so that they are found early enough to offer them curative treatment. If we really want to save more lives from lung cancer, we have to exponentially improve our diagnostics." LUNGevity is the only lung cancer nonprofit with a programmatic focus on funding early detection research, to find lung cancer when it is most treatable. Currently, only 15% of people with lung cancer are diagnosed in the earliest stages, resulting in a 5-year survival rate of only 17.7%. These projects expand on LUNGevity’s eight-year investment in early detection research with the goal of developing an effective, widely available, noninvasive way of finding lung cancer early in all populations. Click here to read the full press release.
  2. LUNGevity Foundation Issues Request for Applications for 2017 Career Development Awards for Translational Research in Lung Cancer Application now available online FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Austin Courtney acourtney@susandavis.com (202) 414-0791 Washington, D.C. (January 17, 2017) — LUNGevity has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for translational research for Career Development Awards that will be granted in 2017. The RFA is available on the LUNGevity website at www.LUNGevity.org/career-development-awards and is also posted on the proposalCENTRAL website at https://proposalcentral.altum.com. LUNGevity’s Career Development Awards for Translational Research program was created to support future research leaders who will keep the field of lung cancer research vibrant with new ideas. Successful applicants may receive $100,000 per year for a possible period of three years and will participate as non-voting members of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board for the duration of the award. Applicants must be within the first five years of their faculty appointment. The Career Development Awards are mentored awards, and a mentoring plan is part of the required submission. Projects that will be funded in 2017 are expected to have a direct impact on the early detection of lung cancer or on the outcomes of lung cancer, or to provide a clear conceptual or experimental foundation for the future development of methods for early detection and/or individualized treatment, including through targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Letters of intent must be submitted by Friday, February 20, 2017. LUNGevity supports the largest research awards program of any lung cancer-focused organization in the United States. Since 2002, LUNGevity has funded 118 projects at 58 institutions in 23 states. About Lung Cancer in the U.S. About 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers Lung cancer takes more lives than the next four deadliest cancers (colorectal, pancreatic, breast, and prostate) combined Only 18% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically About LUNGevity Foundation LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org. Click here to read the full press release online.
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