WASHINGTON, DC (June 16, 2022) — LUNGevity is honored to be the US patient advocacy organization that is part of the new Cancer Grand Challenges team taking on the challenge of cancer cachexia, a wasting syndrome associated with late-stage cancer. The CANCAN (Cancer Cachexia Action Network) team, with investigators from the UK and US, will receive $25M to tackle this critical obstacle in cancer research. The Cancer Cachexia Action Network represents the world’s first virtual institute with a mission to solve cancer cachexia.
“We need new approaches to detect cachexia as early as possible to give patients the best possible outcomes,” said Amy Moore, PhD, Vice President of Global Engagement and Patient Partnerships at LUNGevity Foundation. “It is an extraordinary honor for LUNGevity to be included as a patient advocacy organization with Cancer Grand Challenges. I am in awe of the team’s passion and brilliance, and I see very clearly that their goal is to bring the latest science to bear on what has been an intractable problem, not only for patients with cancer but other diseases too. When scientists work together in this way, patients benefit, and that's what matters most.”
The Cancer Grand Challenges CANCAN team, led by Eileen White of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Marcus DaSilva Goncalves of Weill Cornell Medicine, and Tobias Janowitz of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will tackle the challenge of cancer cachexia. Cachexia is a debilitating wasting condition people often experience in the later stages of their cancer that imparts a poor prognosis and quality of life. Although cachexia is a major clinical problem, very little is known about it, and there are no effective therapies for people who experience it. The team hopes to build a deep understanding of what causes cachexia and develop novel treatments to intervene – which could transform people’s quality of life and ultimately survival.
“Cancer is a global issue that needs to be met with global collaboration. This investment in team science encourages diverse thinking to problems like cachexia that have long hindered research progress,” said David Scott, PhD, Director of Cancer Grand Challenges, Cancer Research UK. “Cancer Grand Challenges provides the multidisciplinary teams the time, space, and funding to foster innovation and a transformative approach. CANCAN is one of four newly funded teams joining a scientific community addressing unmet clinical needs across cancer research.”
About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity Foundation is the nation's leading lung cancer organization focused on improving outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, education, policy initiatives, and support and engagement for patients, survivors, and caregivers. 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. LUNGevity works tirelessly to advance research into early detection and more effective treatments, provide information and educational tools to empower patients and their caregivers, promote impactful public policy initiatives, and amplify the patient voice through research and engagement. The organization provides an active community for patients and survivors—and those who help them live better and longer lives.
Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, a toll-free HELPLine for support, the International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference, and an easy-to-use Clinical Trial Finder, among other tools. All of these programs are to achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.
About Lung Cancer in the US
- About 1 in 17 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
- More than 236,000 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 takes more lives in the United States than the next two deadliest cancers (colorectal and pancreatic) combined.
- Only about 23% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it is caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically.
Please visit LUNGevity.org to learn more.
About Cancer Grand Challenges
Cancer Grand Challenges is a global funding initiative founded in 2020 by the two largest funders of cancer research in the world: Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute* in the US.
Cancer Grand Challenges supports a global community of diverse, world-class research teams with awards of £20M/$25M to come together, think differently, and take on cancer’s toughest challenges. Cancer Grand Challenges teams are empowered to rise above the traditional boundaries of geography and discipline.
Find out more: www.cancergrandchallenges.org.
*The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health.
About Cancer Cachexia
Cancer cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome or anorexia-cachexia, typically occurs in the late stages of the disease. According to the Cancer Cachexia Society, cachexia is a metabolic disorder that causes involuntary weight loss from a combination of factors, including loss of appetite, muscle wasting, decreased body fat, and increased metabolism. Weight loss attributed to cachexia is caused by the depletion of major tissues, such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Cancer’s effect on immune system cells and inflammation in the body play a key role in cachexia, but additional research is needed to better understand the disease and cure it. Cancer cachexia is estimated to affect 50% of patients with lung cancer.