Investments in Research

Lifesaving Discoveries

Research is the key to new discoveries and over the past decade strides have been made in lung cancer treatment and care. Personalized treatment is advancing thanks to biomarker testing and targeted therapies. New methods of early detection with low dose CT scans may increase the chances of survival for individuals at high risk. Still, we know more research is needed to defeat lung cancer.

Our Investment

Funding research is a critical part of the American Lung Association's work. We support a rich array of studies in lung cancer to help develop better treatment options and improve methods of early detection. In the past four years, including our LUNG FORCE investments, we have funded $6.7 million in lung cancer research grants. 

Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team

The American Lung Association is excited to announce an important addition to our Lung Cancer Research portfolio. We are teaming up with Stand Up To Cancer and LUNGevity Foundation to invest in a Stand Up To Cancer – LUNGevity – American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team. Typically, lung cancer develops in the body over years — but there is potential to prevent cellular changes before they happen and stop the lung cancer development in its tracks.

Dream Teams are a collection of interdisciplinary scientists from multiple institutions carrying out innovative research with the greatest potential to yield patient benefits quickly. The new Interception Dream Team focused on lung cancer will be tasked with investigating early molecular or other changes that lead to cancer development. This will inform successful future strategies and new approaches for both early detection and intervention (or stopping) of cancer cells in the lung.

The Dream Team will be funded at $6 million, with each organization contributing $2 million to the initiative. This award marks the largest single American Lung Association investment for lung cancer research to date.

Fostering Cures

This year, a major focus of our research program is to foster projects designed to find cures and prevent and relieve suffering associated with lung cancer. Our 2016-2017 Research Awards Nationwide includes 26 awardees whose studies target lung cancer. See what a few of our researchers are working on below and learn more about all of the research we support at


Kristina Crothers

Selectively Targeting Metabolic Needs Unique to Lung Cancer

David Shackelford, PhD of University of California is testing drugs that inhibit EGFR mutant lung tumors' ability to metabolize nutrients such as glucose and amino acids, to prevent it from developing a resistance to treatment.

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Peter Kaiser

Does Radiation From Heart Procedures Increase Risk of Lung Cancer?

Sharad Goyal, MD, from Rutgers is determining if radiation during heart procedures causes women to have a greater chance of developing lung cancer compared to men.

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Johnathan Whetstine

Attacking Lung Cancer Before It Develops Drug Resistance

Henning Willers, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital is working through a unique clinical trial to biopsy EGFRmut tumors before drug resistance develops, coupled with laboratory studies to find out how tumor cells survive targeted therapy and how to disrupt this ability.

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