Collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)

In January 2014, the American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a charitable organization that supports cancer research initiatives, announced a collaboration focused on lung cancer. The two organizations worked together to create a lung cancer research “Dream Team” that is working to develop new therapies for lung cancer. The project will receive $20 million in funding over a three-year period. The Society and SU2C will each provide half of the funding. This initiative has the potential to result in new life-saving lung cancer treatments.

Research and Training Grants in Lung Cancer

The Society also supports an Extramural Grants program that funds individual investigators engaged in cancer research or training at medical schools, universities, research institutes and hospitals throughout the U.S. Following rigorous and independent peer review, the most innovative research projects are selected for support.

Spotlight on Lung Cancer Grantees

Following are some of the lung cancer investigators currently being funded by the American Cancer Society who are working to find the answers that will save more lives and better prevent, treat, and manage lung cancer.

Sanja Percac-Lima, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital

Percac-Lima is investigating whether bilingual community outreach workers can help increase lung cancer screening rates among older current and former smokers. Her work focuses on patients who use community health centers, as they are much more likely to smoke compared with people who get care from a private practice. Percac-Lima hopes her study will reveal a way to prevent the development of lung cancer screening disparities.

Adam Leventhal, PhD, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Leventhal is investigating the genetics of smokers in hopes of determining why some tobacco users have more severe withdrawal symptoms than others. His research focuses on African American smokers, because they are more likely than Caucasians to die from lung cancer, even though they smoke about the same amount. Leventhal believes his research will provide a better understanding of the biology of tobacco addiction and could lead to improved smoking cessation therapies.

Curtis Chong, M.D., Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Chong is testing more than 1,000 drugs to find ones that could be used in lung cancer patients whose tumors have become resistant to current treatments. By drawing from the existing drug pool, Chong hopes to bypass the long and expensive road to new drug development – and get viable treatments to patients sooner. Chong is focused on lung cancer patients who have a mutation in a gene called EGFR as this form of lung cancer very often develops resistance to the drug currently used to treat it. 

Cardinale Smith, M.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Smith is researching the lung cancer care needs and barriers to receiving palliative care specific to minority patients with advanced lung cancer and their caregivers. Smith notes that minority lung cancer patients often underutilize palliative care. Smith’s goal is for her findings to help inform the development of a culturally-appropriate palliative care intervention to help minority lung cancer patients.

From Our Researchers

The American Cancer Society employs a staff of full-time researchers who relentlessly pursue the answers that help us better understand cancer, including lung cancer.

One of the main ways we study lung cancer is through long-term cancer prevention studies, which we have been conducting since 1952. Our long-term follow-up studies confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer, secondhand smoke and lung cancer, and radon exposure and lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Research Videos

Watch our videos to learn more about our lung cancer research.