At the 2023 World Conference, lung cancer advocacy triumphed with a 25% funding boost for the Lung Cancer Research Program, thanks to strategic lobbying and a unified advocacy platform.

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s 2023 World Conference in Singapore spotlighted a significant milestone in lung cancer advocacy: a 25% increase in funding for the U.S.-based Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP).

Established in 2009 with an initial allocation of $20 million, the LCRP’s budget had stagnated and at times even dwindled to a low of $10.5 million. This was a stark comparison to the more substantial funding received by other cancer research programs. The increase represents a notable success in the ongoing effort to address lung cancer, a leading health concern characterized by high mortality rates.

In January 2022, the Lung Cancer Action Network (LungCAN) instigated a pivotal change by assembling a Steering Committee led by Jill Morningstar, who brought Capitol Hill expertise, and Al Fitzpayne, a lung cancer survivor. Together, they formulated a strategic plan to boost the LCRP budget by pushing for funding that matched the needs of top-tier research proposals from the previous year. This proactive strategy aimed to rectify the imbalance in research funding, especially considering the severity of lung cancer compared to other forms of cancer. Key to the success of these lobbying efforts was the development of a unified web-based platform by LungCAN. This innovation provided a singular, potent outlet for the lung cancer advocacy community to urge members of Congress for increased research funding.

By uniting various organizations under a shared cause without the risk of losing individual support, the platform served as a rallying point, amplifying the collective voice of advocates. The resultant advocacy efforts have not only led to a significant funding increase but have also underscored the power of cooperation and strategic action in the fight against lung cancer.

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