Upstage Lung Cancer Partners with LUNGevity Foundation on Early Detection Research Award

Media Contact: 

Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2016) — LUNGevity Foundation is pleased to announce that Upstage Lung Cancer is collaborating with LUNGevity in support of an early detection translational lung cancer research project. The grant was awarded to Northwestern University researchers Vadim Backman, PhD, and Ankit Bharat, MBBS. The goal of the research is to develop a new, noninvasive method for detecting lung cancer at its earliest and most treatable.

The study will investigate the use of advanced technology, partial wave spectroscopy, to determine how cells taken from the cheeks of stage I lung cancer patients reflect early changes in respiratory tract cells that indicate the presence of lung cancer.

“From our first collaboration in 2011 on a project to identify tumor genomic changes in lung cancer to this year’s project, LUNGevity and Upstage Lung Cancer have worked together on projects that demonstrate the greatest potential for extending and improving the lives of those affected by lung cancer,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity. “Lung cancer poses such a complex challenge, and only by collaborating will we be able to achieve maximum impact.”

LUNGevity has a unique focus on early detection, the area of lung cancer research that is most underfunded and under-researched. The Foundation funds projects that may lead to catching lung cancer in its earliest stages to improve outcomes for patients. LUNGevity strategically and consistently invests in three lung cancer research programs: early detection, therapeutics, and career development. Since 2002, LUNGevity has funded 115 projects at 58 institutions in 23 states.

Upstage Lung Cancer was founded in 2008 by Hildy Grossman, herself a lung cancer survivor. The organization, based in the Boston area, is the only lung cancer organization that exclusively uses music and the performing arts to raise money for research by bringing together performers and music lovers at live concerts.

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • Every 2½ minutes someone will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the U.S.
  • 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 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