LUNGevity and RETpositive Issue RFA for Pan-Cancer Research Focused on RET Biomarker

Partnership creates new research award to help people living with all types of RET-positive cancer
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Linda Wenger
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(973) 449-3214

WASHINGTON, DC (January 25, 2024) – LUNGevity Foundation is proud to announce the 2024 Request for Applications (RFA) for our first pan-cancer research award program—the RETpositive/LUNGevity Translational Research Award for RET-positive Cancer.

Changes in the RET gene are found in several cancers. RET rearrangements, in which a piece of the RET gene is fused to another gene, are found in 1% to 2% of non-small cell lung cancer, papillary thyroid cancer, and cancers of the colon, breast, and other organs. RET mutations are found in medullary thyroid cancer. Currently, two RET tyrosine kinase inhibitors are approved for the treatment of cancers carrying the RET biomarker.

In this award program, RETpositive, a patient-led advocacy group focused on increasing awareness and supporting research for RET-positive cancers, seeks to fund high-impact research that transforms the future for all patients diagnosed with RET-positive cancer by changing RET-positive cancer into a chronic or curable condition.

“Because RET biomarkers can be found in so many different cancers, and each individual cancer may be rare, it has been difficult to gather interest in funding RET cancer research by the large federal research funding organizations,” said Dr. Hilary Hammell of RETpositive. “This RFA is a great example of how patient-centric organizations like RETpositive and LUNGevity can raise funds and awareness to fill the gap. Without this award program, it’s likely this research wouldn’t happen. As a pan-RET cancer group, our community is invested in driving this research.

Projects funded in 2024 are expected to have a direct impact on the outcomes of patients with advanced RET-positive cancer. In keeping with the mission of RETpositive, proposals focusing on multiple types of RET-positive cancers or with a clear impact on multiple types of RET-positive cancers will be given priority. Each award will be a maximum of $100,000 over two years ($50,000 per year).

“Over the past two decades, we’ve seen progress in lung cancer treatments paving the way for treatments in many other types of cancer,” said Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, executive director of LUNGevity Research. “But there is also much to be learned from other types of cancers when thinking about treating lung cancer. The intention of this research award is to bolster pan-cancer collaborations and cross-pollinate the best ideas to improve outcomes for patients with all types of RET-positive cancers, including lung cancer.”  

RETpositive and LUNGevity successfully partnered in 2022 to fund research focused on RET-positive lung cancer. LUNGevity is honored to be chosen by RETpositive for the second time, to assist with the scientific review process of the grant submissions and to fund the selected research projects.

Letters of intent must be submitted by February 9, 2024. 

Additional details about the RFA for this award are available at Applying for a LUNGevity Award | LUNGevity Foundation.

About RETpositive
RETpositive is a 501(c)(3) patient-driven group that aims to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of RET-positive cancer patients through increased awareness, community support and advocacy, and medical research funding for RET-driven cancer. For more information about RETpositive, please visit

About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity, the nation’s leading lung cancer organization, is transforming what it means to be diagnosed and live with lung cancer. LUNGevity seeks to make an immediate impact on quality of life and survivorship for everyone touched by the disease—while promoting health equity by addressing disparities throughout the care continuum.

  • Through research, we use an innovative and holistic approach to finding lung cancer earlier when it is most treatable; advance research into new treatments so people may live longer and better; and ensure a diverse, vital pipeline of investigators for the future of the lung cancer field.
  • Through advocacy, we foster groundbreaking collaborations to ensure all people have access to screening, biomarker testing, and treatment breakthroughs.
  • Through community, we educate, support, and connect people affected by lung cancer so that they can get the best healthcare and live longer and better lives.

Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, Patient Gateways for specific types of lung cancer, a toll-free HELPLine for personalized support, international survivor conferences, and tools to find a clinical trial. All these programs are designed to help us achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.

Please visit to learn more.

About Lung Cancer in the US

  • About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
  • More than 238,000 people in the US 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 causes more deaths than the next two deadliest cancers (colorectal and pancreatic) combined.
  • Only 25% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, but if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically.