Two American Lung Association volunteers, acting as consumer advocates, lent their perspective and expertise to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ (CDMRP), Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP). Lung Association national board of directors member Kathleen Skambis, JD and lung cancer survivor and Lung Association LUNG FORCE Hero Rachael Malmberg recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the LCRP. Kathleen and Rachael were nominated for participation in the program by the American Lung Association, and as consumer reviewers, they were full voting members, (along with prominent scientists) at meetings to help determine how the $14 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2019 will be spent on lung cancer research.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in both women and men in the U.S. and the American lung Association launched its LUNG FORCE initiative in 2014 to raise awareness of lung cancer, find new treatment options and better methods of early detection. November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Lung Association is unveiling new resources and information all month to raise awareness, educate and inspire everyone to take action to confront this disease that kills one American about every three and a half minutes.
LCRP consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients by preparing comments on the impact of the research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life.
“Serving on the panel was a powerful way to ensure that lung cancer patients’ voices are heard as funding agencies make critically important research decisions,” Kathleen said. “All of the scientists made it clear how much they valued the input of the consumer reviewers and how eye-opening it was to have us at the table.”
Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of research applications since FY09. Colonel Stephen J. Dalal, Director of the CDMRP, expressed his appreciation for the consumer advocate’s perspective during the scientific review sessions.
“Consumer advocates are an integral part of the CDMRP’s scientific review process. They provide a key ingredient to the review process, the patient’s perspective, which is real and urgent,” said Col. Dalal. “The collaboration of Consumer advocates alongside the scientists’ subject matter expertise is a truly unique collaboration that is difficult to find in most medical research programs.”
Scientists applying propose to support and integrate research from multiple disciplines for risk assessment, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for the control and cure of lung cancer. The LCRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. More information about the CDMRP’s LCRP is available at the website: https://cdmrp.army.mil/lcrp/default.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung cancer, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. 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.