Our new research foundation attacks RET-driven non-small cell lung cancer. We are proud to announce the launch of THE HAPPY LUNGS PROJECT.
The Happy Lungs Project, a new 501-C(3) nonprofit foundation, has been formed to address an under-recognized and under-funded fight for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) caused by alterations in the RET gene, according to Dr. Daniel Stromberg, Scientific Liaison for the organization.
Lung Cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths affecting over 150,000 people in the United States annually. “Lung cancer kills nearly as many people as the next three cancers combined – and more women die of lung cancer than from breast and ovarian cancer combined,” according to Dr. John V. Heymach, Chair of Thoracic Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Chairman of the Board, Joel Fineberg, described the Foundation goal: “We are on a mission to change the pathway for those affected by RET positive non small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”
Activities will cover two main areas:
1) Fund cutting-edge research to:
- create novel testing methods and protocols for early lung cancer detection (to improve patient outcomes)
- develop targeted and individualized therapies (to utilize findings based on new testing and diagnostics)
- determine if existing pharmaceuticals can be repurposed or combined with other treatments (to provide effective, novel treatments)
- produce new immunotherapies (to be used in conjunction with existing treatments or as primary therapy)
2) Advocate for:
- biomarker testing that is more accessible to more people
- educating patients and their families to seek early detection and treatment
- alerting the public to new clinical trials which could create the next generation of life saving treatments
- identifying and genetically sequencing tumor tissue to determine specific biomarkers.
“We hope,” according to Fineberg, “that we can someday make the difference between life and death for RET positive lung cancer patients. Through the formation of The Happy Lungs Project, we will raise awareness about NSCLC, make early lung cancer detection more common, empower those living with RET positive lung cancer, and fund critical research.”
The foundation’s scientific advisory board, led by Dr. Steven Artandi at the Stanford Cancer Institute and Dr. John V. Heymach, at MD Anderson Cancer Center, will help direct the Foundation’s funds to support clinicians in their work toward a cure for RET-driven NSCLC.