​Combating Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide. In fact, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths in this country than the next three most common causes of cancer death combined – colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

There are two main forms of lung cancer – small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common form of the disease. The most common subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the thin, flat squamous cells; large cell carcinoma; and adenocarcinoma, which begins in the cells that line the alveoli, the tiny sacs within the lungs. Other less common types of non-small cell lung cancer are: pleomorphic, carcinoid tumor, salivary gland carcinoma, and unclassified carcinoma.

There are two types of small cell lung cancer – small cell carcinoma, also called oat cell cancer, and combined small cell carcinoma.

According to estimates by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 234,030 patients will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer and 154,050 patients will die of the disease in the United States in 2018.

Smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors for lung cancer include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, being treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest, exposure to asbestos, chromium, nickel, arsenic, soot, or tar in the workplace, and exposure to radon. When smoking is combined with other risk factors, the risk of lung cancer is increased.

November Is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

What Is the AACR Doing in This Area?

In 2018, the AACR partnered with similar international organizations to present two lung cancer-focused conferences. The fifth AACR-IASLC International Joint Conference: Lung Cancer Translational Science was held in San Diego and the sixth JCA-AACR Special Joint Conference on the Latest Advances in Lung Cancer Research was held in Kyoto, Japan. Sessions at these conferences spanned topics including immunotherapy, molecular targets, genetics, drug resistance, clinical trials, patient advocacy, and more.

In addition to lung cancer-focused conferences, the AACR partners with a private family foundation for a series of lung-cancer oriented sessions held at the AACR Annual Meeting: the Dharma Master Jiantai Recent Advances in Lung Cancer Session, the Dharma Master Jiantai Symposium in Biomarkers, and the Dharma Master Jiantai Symposium in Targeted Therapy.

The AACR also awarded a number of grants in the field of lung cancer research in 2018:

  • Runzhe Chen, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - AACR Scholar-in-Training Award in Memory of Cecelia Cantalupi
  • Loukia G. Karacosta, PhD, Stanford University - AACR Scholar-in-Training Award in Memory of Cecelia Cantalupi

  • Masanori Fujii, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - AACR Scholar-in-Training Award supported by the Barb Tullio Run Against Lung Cancer

  • Vrushank Dharmesh Bhatt, MS, Rutgers University - AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award

  • Alisson Clemenceau, MS, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec - AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award

  • Jianguo Huang, PhD, Duke University Medical Center - AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award

  • Lindsey C. Reynolds, MS, University of Louisville - AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Scholar-in-Training Award

  • Montserrat Climent Salarich, PhD, Italian Institute of Technology - AACR-SIC Scholar-in-Training Award

  • Alexander Pertsemlidis, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio - AACR Minority and Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholars in Cancer Research

  • Narjust Duma, MD, Mayo Clinic - AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award

  • Marsha Samson, PhD, Georgetown University - AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award

  • Francesca Chemi, PhD, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute - AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award

  • Ahneesh J. Mohanty, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center - AACR Undergraduate Scholar Award

The AACR's mission is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300