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Accelerate Clinical Trials Research Grant Awarded

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Free to Breathe Awards Accelerate Clinical Trials Research Grant

Dr. Amy Leader
Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH

Free to Breathe is pleased to announce that co-investigators Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH and Ralph Zinner, MD of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University are the winners of the second Accelerate Clinical Trials (ACT) Research Grant award. The ACT grant is a funding opportunity launched by Free to Breathe to investigate strategies or interventions to increase patient enrollment in therapeutic lung cancer clinical trials. The intent of the Free to Breathe ACT Research Grant is to fund projects that will be reproducible and implementable within clinical practice. An overall goal is to improve rates of patient accrual to lung cancer clinical trials by at least 50% within a defined healthcare facility, system or community.

Helping patients make informed decisions about clinical trials

Dr. Ralph Zinner
Ralph Zinner, MD

Dr. Leader is an Associate Professor in the Division of Population Science in the Department of Medical Oncology. Dr. Zinner is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Thoracic/Aerodigestive Program in the Department of Oncology. Their project is titled: Increasing Shared Decision Making and Patient Participation in Lung Cancer Clinical Trials. Although clinical trials are an option for patients diagnosed with lung cancer, patients often lack of knowledge about clinical trials or have misconceptions about trials. In addition, patients and their caregivers are often overwhelmed when making decisions about treatment.

Dr. Leader's research team: Emily Lambert, MPH; Melissa DiCarlo, MPH; Anna Quinn, MPH; Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH; and Ron Myers, PhD.

Decision aids (DA) are one way to educate patients about their available options and reduce decisional anxiety. DAs are intended to provide patients with information and clarify their values and preferences regarding important health decisions. Several DAs have been developed to promote participation in clinical trials; however, few have directly targeted enrollment into lung cancer clinical trials. In this study, a trained nurse educator will use a Decision Counseling Program before the patient’s visit with an oncologist. The Decision Counseling Program was developed by Ronald Myers, DSW, PhD, Professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and co-investigator of the study. This program is designed to educate the patient about clinical trials in general and guide them through values and personal preference clarification exercises related to options for their lung cancer. Data collected will improve our understanding of the impact of decision aids on patient knowledge, deliberation related to personal values, preference clarification and decision making related to therapeutic lung cancer clinical trials. Scott Cowan, MD, Associate Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, is also a co-investigator and will be an integral part of the study through his clinical expertise working with patients with lung cancer.

More about the Free to Breathe ACT grant

Free to Breathe awarded the first ACT grant to Neal Meropol of Case Western University for the study of Trial Prospector, which is a tool to help physicians identify potential clinical trials. Trial Prospector automatically reviews medical data and matches clinical characteristics against a database of clinical trial eligibility.

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About Free to Breathe

Free to Breathe is a non-profit organization made up of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals, and industry leaders. They are united in the belief that every person with lung cancer deserves a cure. For more information, please visit

Read about other Free to Breathe grant recipients

©2018 Lung Cancer Research Foundation | Federal Tax ID #14-1935776 | LCRF is a 501(c)(3) public charity.