SAN CARLOS, Calif., Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) today announced the winner of the $300,000 ALCF-IASLC Second Joint International Fellowship Award for The Early Detection of Lung Cancer. This year's recipient is Evgeny Izumchenko, M.S., Ph.D, from the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for his research titled, "Comprehensive analysis of the genetic landscape during progression of non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma."
The ALCF-IASLC Joint Fellowship Award recognizes out-of-the-box research that offers new hope for lung cancer patients. Lung adenocarcinomas are a leading cause of cancer mortality and are typically detected at a late stage. To catch lung cancer early, annual CT scans are now recommended for high-risk patients, however, a major limitation still is the inability to predict which small, indeterminate nodules will eventually progress. Novel strategies based on the detection of genetic markers offer new hope for improved risk-assessment, early cancer detection, tumor surveillance, and more precise therapy, however, application of these strategies has been limited in part by an incomplete understanding of how lung cancer progresses in the very early developmental stages.
With funding from the ALCF-IASLC Fellowship Award, Dr. Izumchenko will study the mechanisms underlying cancer progression in the earliest stages, working to identify key genetic drivers involved in cancer progression, thereby identifying potential novel preventative approaches for managing lung cancer patients. As part of this research project, Dr. Izumchenko will also develop a blood test for the non-invasive detection and follow-up of early tumors.
"Dr. Izumchenko's research to better understand how lung cancer progresses in the very early developmental stages is crucial in ALCF's work to turn the world's deadliest cancer into a chronic, manageable disease by the year 2023, " said Bonnie J. Addario, 13-year lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. "Detecting and treating lung cancer in its earliest stages is crucial to help lung cancer patients live longer. We are excited for the promise of Dr. Izumchenko's research and to recognize the next generation of scientists who bring a fresh perspective to lung cancer research."
Dr. Izumcheno and his team have already made headway into identifying genetic changes in the progression of early lung cancers, and some of these findings were published in a report in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Communications, where the team says they identified what they believe are the earliest genetic changes that mark the potential onset of the most common and deadly form of lung cancer. Dr. Izumchenko and his team will be developing on this early work as part of the ALCF-IASLC Fellowship Award.
"The ability to detect precancerous lesions before they become tumors allows for prompt treatment," said Dr. Izumchenko. "Understanding the complex signaling networks may help us better prevent, diagnose and treat lung cancer early, thereby helping us improve the currently dismal five-year survival rate for this dreaded disease."
ALCF and IASLC received several promising submissions from researchers all over the world proposing innovative research projects for the early detection of lung cancer. An international scientific peer review committee selected by ALCF and IASLC reviewed these applications and unanimously chose Dr. Izumchenko as the recipient of the 2017 award.
"The work of Dr. Izumchenko is critical because adenocarcinomas are the most common type of lung cancer and the average five year survival rate is only 15 percent," said Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and CEO of the IASLC. "Novel strategies based on the detection of genetic markers offers new hope, but the impact has been limited by an incomplete understanding of the biology of lung cancer in its early developmental stages. This research may change that."
The ALCF-IASLC Joint Fellowship Award identifies brilliant, young researchers who can deliver meaningful and measurable results for the early detection of lung cancer. The research must have a high probability of near-term benefit to lung cancer patients or individuals at risk, and provide an opportunity for young researchers to learn new cutting-edge technologies.
Learn more about this funding opportunity here.
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation's goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised over $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. Follow us on Twitter @thealcf.
About International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 5,000 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries. IASLC members promote the study of etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. IASLC brings scientists, members of the medical community and the public together from all over the world to share best practices and discover new and better ways to eliminate the health threat of thoracic cancers. Membership is open to any physician, scientist, nurse or allied health professional interested in lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, including patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates. Visit www.iaslc.org for more information and follow us on Twitter @IASLC.
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation