LUNGevity Foundation Announces Initiative to Save Lives Through Increased Adherence to Lung Cancer Screening

Collaborative program to ensure more patients benefit from early detection tool
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 

Linda Wenger
lwenger@LUNGevity.org
(973) 449-3214

WASHINGTON, DC (February 1, 2018) — LUNGevity Foundation announced the launch of Project ACTS – Increasing Adherence to CT Screening for lung cancer – a multi-stakeholder project funded by a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation through their Bridging Cancer CareTM initiative. Project ACTS will develop and evaluate tools to promote stronger adherence to lung cancer screening protocols so that patients can fully benefit from potentially lifesaving CT screening.

Since 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that people at high risk for lung cancer obtain a low-dose CT scan to detect lung cancer early, when it is most treatable. Currently, there are more than 1,600 American College of Radiology-accredited lung cancer screening centers in the US. However, studies indicate that as many as 45% of screening program participants may not receive appropriate follow-up after an abnormal scan. Through a multi-pronged approach including qualitative studies and the development and testing of engagement tools, Project ACTS seeks to increase the number of individuals who benefit from CT screening-based early detection, thereby saving thousands of lives.

Andrea Ferris, CEO of LUNGevity, said, “We are excited to further advance our focus on early detection by creating tools to ensure patients come back for a follow-up scan.  The National Lung Screening Trial paved the way to make CT screening available to individuals at high risk for lung cancer. Project ACTS complements the efforts of fellow lung cancer groups, such as the Lung Cancer Alliance, which are setting up Screening Centers of Excellence throughout the country. We thank Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for funding this program, which will save lives.”

The project is a collaborative effort between LUNGevity Foundation and health psychologist Dr. Jamie Studts from University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and health economist Dr. Margaret Byrne from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. “With Project ACTS, the investigative team will develop and begin to test an intervention toolkit that lung cancer screening programs can use to reduce non-adherence, an emerging challenge that could compromise the potential benefits of lung cancer screening on population health,” said Studts. The study team also includes world-renowned pulmonologists Dr. Pierre Massion from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Dr. Peter Mazzone from Cleveland Clinic Foundation as clinician advisors. It is expected to start by the beginning of February 2018 and will involve the development of patient engagement tools that will provide accurate information about screening results and help individuals have meaningful discussions with their healthcare providers after their first CT scan, with the goal of supporting their efforts to return for follow-up scans.

“Lack of adherence to screening protocols can have dramatic effects for individuals who could have had disease detected at an earlier, more treatable stage,” said John Damonti, President of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Project ACTS will address the patient engagement challenge to increase adherence to follow-up scans for high risk individuals. We are proud of what this partnership’s work will do to support patients in benefitting from potentially lifesaving screening.”

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 EmergingMed.

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

About Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The mission of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and to improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases by strengthening healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. Project ACTS is funded through their Bridging Cancer Care™ initiative, which is active in the states in the Southeast determined to have the highest lung cancer burden. Bridging Cancer Care™ focuses grant making on pilot projects that aim to reduce the burden of lung cancer among minority and underserved populations through innovative models of prevention, detection and education, and by helping those living with lung cancer to access and navigate cancer care and community-based support services.

For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit https://www.bms.com/about-us/responsibility/bristol-myers-squibb-foundation.html or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.