WASHINGTON, August 2015 – LUNGevity Foundation has named Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) the August LUNGevity Hero in recognition of the organization’s role in making cancer research a national priority. More recently, SU2C has brought lung cancer to the forefront of public attention by launching the first Lung Cancer Dream Team with the American Cancer Society (ACS), with support from Bristol Myers Squibb, composed of leading researchers dedicated to understanding and treating the KRAS mutation of lung cancer, a genomic mutation that affects 20 to 25 percent of all non-small cell lung cancer patients, but for which there currently is no effective treatment.
Created in May 2008 by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, SU2C is an initiative that seeks to expedite cancer research and treatment through its 16 Dream Teams, 2 Translational Research Teams, 26 Innovative Research Grants, and over 942 scientists, and raise public understanding of cancer by leveraging the film and media industry’s resources. Each Dream Team combines the skills and expertise of leading cancer experts who conduct innovative studies to help patients live longer, better lives. In April 2015, under the leadership of SU2C President and CEO Sung Poblete, the group introduced the new SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.
“It is a hallmark of Stand Up To Cancer that our translational research result in patient benefits during the three years in which the Dream Teams are funded,” explained Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, president and CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “SU2C is focused on accelerating research to save lives now and to make cancer patients become cancer survivors. The leaders of this Dream Team built on their experiences in prior SU2C-supported research and demonstrated the highest level of collaboration we’ve seen in a team prior to their selection. We are so excited that they are ready to hit the ground running to accelerate research that will make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and we’re very pleased by LUNGevity’s recognition of our work.”
Led by Jeffrey A. Engelman, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, and Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Dream Team will study and determine best treatments for the KRAS mutation. Cancers with gene mutations such as KRAS, which do not respond well to standard methods, are notoriously difficult to treat. With the aid of a three-year, $20 million grant, the Team will conduct a thorough investigation using a three-pronged approach: identifying effective targeted therapies, harnessing the immune system, and integrating targeted therapies and immunotherapies to develop the best combination treatment for KRAS mutated lung cancer. LUNGevity President and Chairman Andrea Ferris serves as patient advocate for the team.
“LUNGevity Foundation is proud to name Stand Up To Cancer the August LUNGevity Hero for supporting dedicated research into the treatment of KRAS mutated lung cancer, which makes up a quarter of all non-small cell lung cancer cases, and for harnessing its powerful platform to bring much needed attention and awareness to the disease,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. “We are very pleased to be a patient advocate for this Dream Team, providing the patient perspective and supporting critical research.”
For more on Stand Up To Cancer, see the LUNGevity Heroes blog at www.lungevity.org/heroes-blog.
For more information on LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.
About Lung Cancer
- 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
- More than 221,000 people in the U.S. 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 cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) 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 www.LUNGevity.org.