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New Jersey Researcher Awarded $100,000 for Research to Increase Survival for Lung Cancer Patients and Joins American Lung Association Research Team for 2019-2020

Lung Association expands research investment to $8.7 million, making headway on its commitment to double its investment in research

(December 4, 2019) - Trenton, NJ

For more information please contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]
717-971-1123

- With a vision of a world free of lung disease, the American Lung Association funds a wide range of research to improve lung health, including lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pulmonary fibrosis and more. The organization announced its new research team, which includes Sharon Pine, Ph.D. of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The Lung Association has also increased its research investment to $8.7 million, through awards for both our Airways Clinical Research Center (ACRC) Network and its innovative Awards & Grants program.  

The Awards and Grants Program provides investigators with the funds, at all levels of their career, to conduct novel and promising research to prevent, treat and even cure lung disease. The ACRC is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research that promises to have a direct, positive impact on patient care. 

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific review and represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues to help combat and reduce the suffering and burden of lung disease. See project overviews of all funded projects at Lung.org/research-team. 

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of both women and men in the U.S. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative is dedicated to increasing awareness about the risk of this deadly disease and uniting Americans to raise funds for critical lung cancer research. The Lung Association is funding many research grants dedicated to lung cancer research, including the Lung Cancer Discovery Award. 

Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Dr. Pine’s research at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, titled “Treating PI3 Kinase-mutant NSCLC,” was given the Lung Cancer Discovery Award and received $100,000 in funding for 2019-2020 fiscal year.

About the Research: Lung cancer is responsible for 25% of deaths caused by any cancer in the U.S. Most patients with lung cancer are diagnosed after the cancer has already spread and, unfortunately, the options for therapy are very few. Some patients with lung adenocarcinoma are eligible for therapy that targets the mutation in their tumor. However, there are still no targeted therapies available for most patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma. Our proposal addresses this problem. Dr. Pine proposes to test a novel way to treat squamous cell carcinomas that have a mutation in the gene called PIK3CA. A mutation in PIK3CA is believed to be the driver of the tumor. She proposes pre-clinical pilot studies to examine a new treatment option for these patients. Her long-term goal is to make targeted therapy a reality for all lung cancer patients. Dr. Pine believes the proposed work will bring us closer to that goal and ultimately improve survival for patients with lung cancer.

COPD is by itself the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. The Lung Association is also funding a number of studies focused on COPD, in addition to the ongoing clinical trials being conducted by the ACRC. 

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the American Lung Association Research Team, contact Valerie Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123.

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About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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