LOS ANGELES – May 11, 2018 – Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA)and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) have awarded a pair of two-year grants, generously funded in part by Bristol-Myers Squibb, to support research that will hopefully help lung cancer patients lead longer, healthier lives.
These young investigators are studying new lung cancer treatments generally known as combination therapies. These treatments aim to enhance the activity of currently available immunotherapy (the body’s own immune response) by combining it with other new treatments.
The grants were awarded to:
- Kathryn Beckermann, M.D., Ph.D., a research fellow in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her work focuses on increasing the response rate and effectiveness of immunotherapy by combining it with a second treatment that cuts off the blood supply to tumors. Dr. Beckermann is hoping the addition of this new drug combination will help the body be better able to fight lung cancer tumors.
- Zoltan Lohinai, M.D., Ph.D., a pulmonary oncologist and researcher at the National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology in Budapest, Hungary. Dr. Lohinai’s project will evaluate the interaction of bacteria, fungi and other organisms (collectively known as the microbiome) that normally live in the body (primarily in the GI tract) and lung cancer patients’ responses to immunotherapy. Current research might identify microbial and genetic factors that will help in selecting patients that are likely to benefit from immunotherapy.
Combination therapy is so exciting for lung cancer patients because it provides more powerful tools in the fight against lung cancer.
“The IASLC is proud to join LCFA in providing these grants to two very promising young investigators. These important research projects will hopefully lead to encouraging results benefiting many lung cancer patients,” said Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the IASLC.
“Combination therapy is so exciting for lung cancer patients because it provides more powerful tools in the fight against lung cancer,” said Kim Norris, LCFA president and co-founder.
To date, LCFA and the IASLC have partnered to fund nearly $3 million in research grants.