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Three Lung Cancer Advocacy Organizations Collaborate to Fund Critically Needed Lung Cancer Research

American Lung Association, Free to Breathe and Uniting Against Lung Cancer Announce New Collaboration.

CONTACTS: Anastasia Hagan, Acting Executive Director, Uniting Against Lung Cancer Anastasia@UnitingAgainstLungCancer.org (212) 627-5500; Gregg Tubbs, Director, Corporate Communication, American Lung Association Gregg.tubbs@lung.org (202) 715-3469; Sara Ifert, Marketing Director, Free to Breathe SIfert@FreetoBreathe.org (608) 828-8836

(October 21, 2014) - New York, N.Y.

Three of the nation’s largest lung cancer advocacy organizations, the American Lung Association, Free to Breathe, and Uniting Against Lung Cancer, are working together in an unprecedented collaboration to fund research to improve treatment for lung cancer patients.

The funded research aims to develop new cancer drugs targeting p53, one of the most commonly mutated genes in cancer and one of the most difficult proteins to target therapeutically. p53 mutations are very common in lung cancers and range from 33% in adenocarcinomas to 70% in small cell lung cancers. Drugs able to reactivate the tumor-killing ability of p53 will be a significant new treatment option for thousands of lung cancer patients, and will also improve treatment options for patients fighting other types of cancers.

The 2014 Impact Award recipient is Dr. Peter Kaiser, PhD, from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Kaiser has assembled a strong multidisciplinary team to tackle this challenge, including specialists in molecular and chemical biology, computational biology, organic chemistry, and molecular dynamics. The team will receive $380,000 to identify and develop compounds able to reactivate p53 in lung cancer cells. This diverse team has the necessary skills and expertise to not only develop new compounds targeting p53, but also pursue clinical development for lung cancer patients.

"We are excited about the support for our research from Uniting Against Lung Cancer, Free to Breathe and the American Lung Association. This funding will allow us to explore novel lung cancer therapeutics to help patients suffering from this terrible disease” said Dr. Kaiser.

Lung cancer is the nation’s deadliest cancer, and will take the lives of approximately 160,000 Americans this year, as many as ­colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined. Yet it receives less federal research funding comparatively than any of the other major cancers. Recognizing the need for non-profit organizations to work together to fund research that would otherwise go un-funded, the American Lung Association, Free to Breathe and Uniting Against Lung Cancer are jointly sponsoring the 2014 Impact Award.

“For too long, families facing a lung cancer diagnosis are affected by the terrible reality that not enough public funding is directed toward advancing the kinds of promising early detection and novel treatment pathways that only sustained and substantive investments in research will achieve,” said Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO for the national American Lung Association. “By partnering with Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Free to Breathe, we are expanding our efforts, filling the funding gap, improving survival and saving lives.”

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About Free to Breathe

Free to Breathe is a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders united in the belief that every person with lung cancer deserves a cure.  Free to Breathe’s goal is to double lung cancer survival by 2022.  For more information about our vision, visit http://www.freetobreathe.org

About Uniting Against Lung Cancer

Uniting Against Lung Cancer is dedicated to funding innovative research and raising awareness to find a cure for lung cancer. We have been joined by like-minded groups across the country to raise funds for groundbreaking research. Since 2003, we have awarded over $11.5 million to academic investigators, leading to almost $60 million in follow-on funding, new researchers entering the field, and scientific progress that is already impacting lung cancer patients. Learn more atwww.UnitingAgainstLungCancer.org.

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