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New Funding Aimed at Stopping The Spread of Lung Cancer and Increasing Survival

  • September 25 2014

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    New Funding Aimed at Stopping The Spread of Lung Cancer and Increasing Survival

    There’s good news among the lung cancer community — lung cancer five-year survival rate has risen from 15 to 16.8 percent! This is incredible, as prior to this year, the survival rate had been virtually stagnant for over a decade. This success is closely shared with everyone dedicated to the cause. Thanks to your support, Free to Breathe has funded over $4 million in research since 2005 that has helped bring about significant progress and, undoubtedly, worked to move that needle even closer toward our goal of doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. 

    Our Young Investigator Research Grant program has been invaluable in propelling research. Last year’s recipient, Dr. Lauren Avrett Byers from MD Anderson Cancer Center, launched a clinical trial in 2014 to test a new small cell lung cancer treatment supported by Free to Breathe funding. 

    In 2014, Free to Breathe is funding six new investigators focused on projects in up-and-coming areas with the greatest potential to extend lives for patients diagnosed with lung cancer. Dr. Dingcheng Gao, from Weill Medical College of Cornell University, is one such researcher. Dr. Gao is working to prevent lung tumors from getting the fuel they need to grow, which may, in turn, lead to promising lung cancer treatments.

    There is no doubt that our grant recipients from the Young Investigator program will continue to make scientific breakthroughs, and Free to Breathe is looking ahead and asking specific questions to our Scientific Executive Committee about how to build off this momentum. 

    In the coming years, we will aim at one area in particular that is proven to improve survival among lung cancer patients — stopping metastasis. 

    Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer cells that result in tumors forming in other parts of the body. Research has shown that when lung cancer is treated before tumors have metastasized, the five-year survival rate is considerably higher. Preventing the spread of the disease is crucial, as metastasis is the primary cause of death for almost all cancer patients. 

    Since we know stopping metastasis will be effective at saving lives, Free to Breathe is looking to accelerate the process. We have launched an exciting, new research grant program that will provide larger amounts of funding to researchers focused on stopping the spread of lung cancer. 

    This new research program will support scientists with proposals judged to be the best chance for preventing or stopping the spread of lung cancer in patients. The winners of this Free to Breathe Research Grant will receive funding totaling $600,000, to be paid over the course of three years as they conduct their scientific study with the end result being a clinical trial. 

    By fully supporting research proven to move survival rates, we are on track toward achieving our vision of doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. 

    Learn more about our research program!  



    The Free to Breathe Research Grant program is currently accepting applications for 2015. We will fund up to three of these awards to support high-impact, innovative lung cancer research solely focused on preventing or stopping metastasis that will result in clinical translation by the end of the three-year award period. Our ultimate goal is to fund research that will result in treatments for lung cancer patients and increase survival. The application deadline is Nov. 7, 2014. Learn more.


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