LUNGevity Praises Launch of National Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Drug Trials

LUNGevity Praises Launch of National Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Drug Trials
Media Contact: 

Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798

Washington, DC  (September 12, 2014) – LUNGevity Foundation, whose lung cancer research program focuses on both targeted therapies and early detection, lauds the launch of ALCHEMIST (Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials), the National Cancer Institute’s large-scale clinical trials that will test targeted therapies on patients with earlier-stage lung cancer. Historically, because of the difficulty of detecting lung cancer in its early stages, study of targeted therapies has focused on patients with more advanced disease. ALCHEMIST is changing that.

ALCHEMIST is specifically concerned with determining whether two drugs currently in use for patients in later-stage lung cancer, erlotinib for EGFR-positive patients and crizotinib for ALK-positive patients, can prevent a recurrence of lung cancer in early-stage lung cancer after the patients have had surgery to remove their tumors. The success of these drugs in keeping patients cancer-free would be a major breakthrough in lung cancer care and would give increased urgency to research that can find lung cancer tumors before they have had a chance to spread.

“LUNGevity cheers this major undertaking of the NCI and its collaborating biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners,” says Andrea Stern Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity. “We still have a long way to go before lung cancer is beaten, but these trials and other major new initiatives, such as Lung-MAP for advanced squamous cell lung cancer, are stepping up the pace of the progress for which we are all working.”

 About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer kills more people than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and pancreatic, combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

About LUNGevity Foundation

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