Lung Cancer Research

Research is the key to new discoveries in lung health and over the past decade, strides have been made in lung cancer treatment and care.

Why We Need Research

Research provides hope and saves lives. This is especially true when it comes to lung cancer research. Lung cancer research can help develop better treatments, increasing the survival and quality of life for patients. Research can provide a better and longer future for those diagnosed with lung cancer as well and can also ultimately increase the number of survivors living with the disease.

The Lung Association supports lung cancer research so we can help prevent lung cancer cases, and failing that, prolong the lives of lung cancer patients. We have made some progress, but we plan to invest more, as lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Our Lung Cancer Research Program

The American Lung Association is committed to funding lung cancer research. As part of our Awards and Grants Program, a large part of funds goes toward research on lung cancer prevention, treatment and quality of life. The primary goal of this lung cancer research program is simple: improve and save lives. The secondary goal is almost as important: To fund top-notch lung cancer researchers at important career crossroads to and gain long-term commitment to lung cancer research. Without the life-long dedication of lung cancer researchers and a large and active community of people trying to improve patients' lives, important and much-needed discoveries would be impossible.

What Research Is Being Done?

Thanks to the medical breakthroughs led by Lung Association researchers and their colleagues worldwide, our lung cancer researchers have made significant contributions to the field of lung cancer. For example, biomarker testing and targeted therapies have helped advance the area of personalized treatment (finding the unique genetic makeup of a person's tumor and developing and using drugs that are designed to be most effective for that patient).

Currently funded Lung Association researchers are:

  • Applying new technologies to detect cancer earlier
    • Finding out why some nonsmokers develop lung cancer
    • Discovering new biomarkers as an early warning system to detect the spread of lung cancer
  • Using innovative approaches to understand how cancer progresses
    • Decoding the genetic mechanisms which cause lung cancer
    • Understanding how the structure and regulation of chromosomes affect lung cancer
  • Using cutting-edge technology to advance treatment and patient care
    • Understanding sex-differences to customize lung cancer treatments
    • Using next generation nanotechnology to target lung cancer
    • Using a virus to treat lung cancer
    • Overcoming obstacles for cellular immunotherapy against lung cancer
  • Delivering patient-forward advances in healthcare
    • Improving quality of life and access to healthcare for lung cancer patients after completing therapy
    • Reversing drug resistance in lung cancers
    • Identifying metabolic alterations in lung cancer-associated cachexia
    • Testing methods to increase lung cancer screening among Quitline callers

Lung Cancer Researchers

Visit our Meet the Researchers section to view our lung cancer researchers and their studies.

Research Partnerships

Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team

As a collaborative effort with Stand Up To Cancer and the LUNGevity Foundation, the Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team leverages a new approach to lung cancer prevention: cancer interception.

Learn more about the Dream Team.

How You Can Be a Part of Research

Lung Cancer Registry

The Lung Cancer Registry is a database of medical information collected from thousands of lung cancer patients. Researchers study this health data to gain a better understanding of the disease, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients. By participating in the Registry, you not only will help advance lung cancer research, but you will also be able to learn about new clinical trial opportunities that may help in your own treatment program.

Learn more about the Lung Cancer Registry and how to sign up.

Lung Cancer Clinical Trials

Read questions and answers about clinical trials and see our Lung Association listing of current trials.

Download our checklist to help you talk with your doctor about clinical trials.

You can also search the Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Matching Service, provided by a partnership between the American Lung Association and EmergingMed. Patients can search for clinical trials that match their specific diagnosis and treatment history.

Page last updated: June 7, 2024

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