LUNGevity Issues RFA Focused on Immunotherapy Resistance in Lung Cancer

Award supports research in area of unmet need for patients treated with immunotherapy who are not eligible for a targeted therapy
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Linda Wenger
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WASHINGTON, DC (January 25, 2024) – LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, is pleased to issue an RFA (Request for Application) for the Brown/LUNGevity Award to Understand Mechanisms of Resistance to Immunotherapy.

This award, supported by the Brown Family from Atlanta, GA, aims to study how metastatic non-small cell lung cancer becomes resistant to immunotherapy and how we can avoid or overcome this drug resistance.

Immunotherapy has revolutionized our approach to treating lung cancer. It is used in both early and late stages of disease and in combination with other treatments. Currently, the FDA-approved immunotherapies for lung cancer target two immune checkpoint pathways — PD-L1 and CTLA-4. When patients with lung cancer are treated with these immunotherapies, they may benefit from treatment initially and then have their tumors develop resistance to treatment and begin to grow again.

“When immunotherapy became an option for our family, we felt an incredible sense of hope, which grew even further as we experienced such a positive response to the treatment. After 15 months where we were ‘super responders’ to the treatment, the cancer returned. As we began our search for the next best option, we found that our choices were limited. Through this project, our hope is to help not only members of our family, but everyone who could be facing resistance to immunotherapy in the future,” said Mike Brown.

“To strategically identify gaps in the portfolio of lung cancer treatments, LUNGevity conducted a landscape analysis of the current therapeutics in development and found that only a small proportion of immunotherapy drugs being developed focus on treating resistance that develops after treatment with PD-L1 or CTLA-4 inhibitors,” said Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, executive director of LUNGevity Research. “The Brown/LUNGevity Award for Immunotherapy Resistance aims to directly address this need by supporting impactful, patient-focused research to help us address resistance to immunotherapy.”

Selected research projects will be awarded a maximum of $500,000 over two years ($250,000 per year).

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

For more information about this RFA, please visit Applying for a LUNGevity Award | LUNGevity Foundation.

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.