​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, 222,500 patients will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer and 155,870 patients will die of the disease in the United States in 2017.

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 will again partner with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) to host the fifth special conference on the disease, the AACR-IASLC International Joint Conference: Lung Cancer Translational Science from the Bench to the Clinic. Sessions will range in topics spanning immunotherapy, molecular targets, genetics, drug resistance, clinical trials, patient advocacy, and more.

Additionally, the AACR and the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) will continue their partnership to present the sixth JCA-AACR Special Joint Conference on the Latest Advances in Lung Cancer Research: From Basic Science to Therapeutics in 2018.

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.

AACR also awarded two grants in the field of lung cancer research in 2017.  Wen-Yang (Ann) Lin, PhD, MS, of Stanford University recieved the AACR-Genentech Fellowship in Lung Cancer Research for her study, "Multiplexed pharmacogenomic analysis of lung cancer." And Leila Dardaei, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital received the AACR-AstraZeneca Fellowship in Lung Cancer Research for her project, "Overcoming acquired drug resistance in ALK fusion-positive lung cancers."

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