New Clinical Study Aims to Investigate the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer

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Julia Spiess Lewis
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New Clinical Study Aims to Investigate the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer
Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute Puts Spotlight on Lung Cancer in Young Adults

SAN CARLOS, CA (July 23, 2014) — The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) today launched a new study, the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer, to understand why lung cancer occurs in young adults, who quite often are athletic, never smokers and do not exhibit any of the known lung cancer genetic mutations. ALCMI, a patient-centric, international research consortium and partner of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), is facilitating this first-of-its-kind, multi- institutional, prospective genomic study in order to identify new genome-defined subtypes of lung cancer and accelerate delivery of more effective targeted therapies.

“It’s heartbreaking when you meet young adults with lung cancer, who should have their full lives ahead of them but instead are fighting for their lives because of the lack of lung cancer treatments,” said Bonnie J. Addario, stage 3B lung cancer survivor and founder of ALCMI and the ALCF. “This groundbreaking study will investigate why young adults under the age of 40 are getting lung cancer and whether they have a unique cancer subtype, or genotype, that can be treated differently.”

Our evolving understanding of the disease and new molecular tools suggest that young age may be an under-appreciated clinical marker of new genetic subtypes. An important goal for this research study is to reveal new lung cancer sub-types of lung cancer requiring distinct treatment strategies.

“Leveraging this study as a proof of principle, ALCMI is also characterizing other specific patient populations to support emerging data that lung cancer diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are more effective when individualized, and personalized approaches are brought to bear,” Steven Young, President and COO of ALCMI, who also points out this study represents a unique public-private collaboration between the ALCMI consortium and Foundation Medicine, Inc.

The Genomics of Young Lung Cancer study is centrally managed by ALCMI while the Principal Investigator (study leader) is Barbara Gitlitz, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“This study lays the groundwork for discovery of novel targetable genotypes as well as heritable and environmental risk factors for lung cancer patients under 40,” Dr. Gitlitz said. “We’ll be evaluating 60 patients in this initial study and hope to apply our findings to a larger follow-up study in the future.”

Other investigators include Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), David Carbone, MD, PhD (The Ohio State University), and Giorgio Scagliotti, MD, PhD and Silvia Novello, MD (both at the University of Torino in Italy). Patients may enroll in the study regardless of where they live, and will not need to travel to any of the above institutions.

For more information about the study, please contact Steven Young, president of ALCMI, at (203) 226-5765 or info@lungcancerfoundation.org. Lung cancer patients living in the United States will not need to travel to any of the above institutions to participate (but may do so), and may learn more at https://www.openmednet.org/site/alcmi-goyl. Individuals living outside the U.S. may contact ALCMI at info@lungcancerfoundation.org for information on how to participate.

Lung Cancer Facts
• In 2014 alone, more than 224,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates nearly 160,000 Americans will die of the disease.
• The ACS estimates there are 400,000 people in the U.S. living with lung cancer, and about 8,000 of those are under age 45.
• Nearly 4,500 people under 45 will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014.
• Nearly 80 percent of new lung cancer patients are former or never-smokers.
• Lung cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined and it accounts for 27 percent of all cancer deaths. It is the second leading cause of all deaths in the U.S.
• Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in every ethnic group and since 1987 has killed more women every year than breast cancer.
• The five-year survival rate for lung cancer has changed little in more than 40 years – from 12 percent in 1970 to 16 percent today.

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, education, early detection, genetic testing, drug discovery and patient-focused outcomes. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, patients, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $15 million for lung cancer research. To learn more, please visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org.

About the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute
The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), founded in 2008 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization, is a patient-centric, international research consortium driving research otherwise not possible, evidenced by ALCMI’s current clinical studies CASTLE, INHERIT EGFR T790M, and the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer. ALCMI overcomes barriers to collaboration via a world-class team of investigators from 22+ institutions in the U.S. and Europe, supported by dedicated research infrastructures such as centralized tissue banks and data systems. ALCMI directly facilitates research by combining scientific expertise found at leading academic institutions with patient access through our network of community cancer centers – accelerating novel research advancements to lung cancer patients.