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Local Lung Cancer Patient Joins International Group to Fund Research to Save Their Own Lives

(Place – e.g. Atlanta) ALK-positive lung cancer patient one of 1,000+-strong group announcing
first 3 research studies



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WASHINGTON, DC (June 4, 2018) — Andy Trahan is a lung cancer patient who was diagnosed February 14, 2013 after months of intense leg pain and ultimately blood clots in both legs and bilateral pulmonary embolisms. Andy’s tumor was tested and found to have a specific mutation in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, making him a candidate for one of the several new targeted therapies that target this mutation. Five years and 3 months later, Andy is able to work, play tennis, coach his son’s basketball team, travel, spend time with family, etc…

A group of patients like Andy, who are living well with ALK-positive lung cancer, came together in 2015 on Facebook to support each other and share information. Today, the group has taken the name ALK Positive, and is focused on raising funds for scientific research to expand on currently available treatments in order to prolong their own lives. In 2017, ALK Positive partnered with LUNGevity Foundation, the premier private funder of lung cancer research in the U.S, to select projects that would quickly improve outcomes for the 4% of lung cancer patients who have tested positive for the mutation as well as have the potential to transform ALK-positive lung cancer into a chronic condition.

Andy and I have made it our personal mission to help others who have been given a lung cancer diagnosis. Through sharing our story and advocating for more funding and research, we aim to give hope to others and increase survival rates. Our dream is to one day find a CURE! Three recipients of the new ALK Positive Lung Cancer Transformational Research Awards were announced on June 4, 2018. Each two-year project, funded with monies raised by ALK Positive, aims to understand why immunotherapy has not been successful in treating ALK-positive lung cancer and to test new immunotherapy approaches in ALK-positive lung cancer. Although the awards are specifically for ALK-positive lung cancer research, they have the potential to benefit lung cancer research in general.”

Andy is looking toward the future, with hope made possible due to the rapid development of new treatments of the past few years. The old saying “it takes a village” is appropriate here. The ALK Positive village is strong and working together we will make change happen. We will change the face of lung cancer. We will find new treatments. We will make it possible for members of our village to see life milestones. We will find a CURE!


About ALK-positive lung cancer

ALK-positive lung cancer is found in about 4% of lung cancer cases, and is responsible for approximately 72,000 newly diagnosed cases each year and 64,000 deaths each year, worldwide. 

There is no proven or suspected association of ALK-positive lung cancer with any environmental toxins such as first or second hand tobacco smoke, asbestos, radon or air pollution. There is also no proven or suspected association with any particular diet, obesity or fitness level. About 50% of ALK-positive patients are diagnosed before the age of 50, about 65% are female, and the vast majority had an active and healthy lifestyle before developing ALK-positive lung cancer.


About ALK Positive

ALK Positive, a group of highly motivated, passionate, and dedicated ALK-positive patients and their caregivers, wants to drive change in the ALK lung cancer space. ALK Positive members are committed to raising funds for research to increase ALK-positive lung cancer patients’ survivorship. The three tenets by which they live are Information, Support, and Empathy. ALK Positive members uphold these by providing information about ALK lung cancer to each other; supporting one another around the globe to improve members’ physical and emotional well-being; and having empathy with each other because they share their lung cancer journey. For more information about ALK Positive, or to make a donation to help fund the ALK Positive Lung Cancer Transformational Research Awards, please visit www.alkpositive.org.

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity is the nation's leading lung cancer organization investing in lifesaving, translational research and providing support services and education for patients and caregivers. LUNGevity’s goals are three-fold: (1) accelerate research to patients, (2) empower patients to be active participants in their treatment decisions, and (3) remove barriers that patients face in accessing the right treatments. 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. LUNGevity’s comprehensive resources include a medically vetted website, a toll-free HELPLine in partnership with CancerCare®, a unique Lung Cancer Navigator app, peer-to-peer mentoring for patients and caregivers (LUNGevity LifeLine), and survivorship conferences. LUNGevity also helps patients find and navigate clinical trials through our Clinical Trial Finder tool, a Clinical Trial Ambassador program, and participation with Emerging Med.

Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

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