WASHINGTON, DC (August 1, 2023) – LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, today announced the launch of its Early Lung Cancer Center (ELCC). The ELCC was created to accelerate the development and broad adoption of early detection and treatment options so people diagnosed with lung cancer have the best chance for long-term survival and a better quality of life.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and the global burden of lung cancer is expected to continue to grow over the next 20 years. Approximately 80% of patients are diagnosed in the late stage, when the disease has progressed and mortality is high. By shifting most diagnosed cases earlier, survival and quality of life are improved. After decades of research, advances in therapeutics and detection methods are simultaneously enabling us to dramatically improve survival outcomes for people diagnosed with lung cancer. The Early Lung Cancer Center will help accelerate this progress.
“The LUNGevity Early Lung Cancer Center is a multifaceted effort to improve lung cancer survival by making early detection and early disease management the norm. We are looking forward to working with our Center’s External Advisory Board, partners, and stakeholders to improve rates of lung cancer screening, establish and standardize incidental nodule programs, and leverage emerging technologies and research for the early detection and treatment of lung cancer,” explained Leah Fine, vice president of the LUNGevity Early Lung Cancer Center.
Key opportunities for the ELCC include:
- Screening — Only 6% of the eligible population in the United States is being screened for lung cancer. The ELCC will utilize policy initiatives, patient-focused research, and educational programs to increase the uptake of lung cancer screenings.
- Incidental pulmonary nodules (IPN) — Nearly five million people have chest CT imaging (not for lung cancer screening) in the United States, with close to 40% of scans showing an incidental finding. Appropriate follow-up for these patients occurs just 30% of the time. The ELCC will work with health systems and researchers to implement and standardize IPN workflows for follow-up care for these patients.
- Early-stage therapeutics — The ELCC will ensure that patients have access to recently approved therapies by working through legislative policy and healthcare provider education.
- Emerging technologies — The ELCC is supportive of the development of new technologies, such as blood-based cancer detection tests or artificial intelligence for radiology, that, when proven, can expand access and work in tandem with existing protocols to detect lung cancer earlier.
The ELCC’s External Advisory Board is composed of key opinion leaders to help guide and drive the transformation of lung cancer to a disease that is diagnosed and treated in the early stages when it is the most curable.
“Early detection is key to improving lung cancer mortality,” said Nabil Chehab, Medical Franchise Head, Lung Cancer at AstraZeneca. “Diagnosing the disease at the earliest stage is core to our ambition. Supporting LUNGevity Foundation is another important step in advancing our mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of death.”
“For more than a decade, LUNGevity has fostered early detection through policy work, translational research projects, and patient education efforts,” said Andrea Ferris, LUNGevity’s president and CEO. “The goal of the Early Lung Cancer Center is to strategically amplify those efforts, while building synergies with our partners, to create a world where no one dies of lung cancer.”
LUNGevity thanks AstraZeneca for being a Founding Sponsor of this initiative. We are grateful for the leadership support of the Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation, the Stern Family, the Family and Friends of Meenakshi Ponnusamy, and the Pomerance and Berl Families.
For more information about LUNGevity's Early Lung Cancer Center, visit www.lungevity.org/early-lung-cancer-center.
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 www.LUNGevity.org 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 takes more lives than the next three leading cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) 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.