SAN CARLOS, Calif. (March 1, 2016) -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) today announced the first ever $300,000 ALCF-IASLC Joint International Fellowship Award for The Early Detection of Lung Cancer to Robin Mjelle, PhD, researcher at the Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The ALCF-IASLC Joint Fellowship Award supports novel, innovative and translational research with the potential of having a high clinical impact on the early detection of lung cancer. Dr. Mjelle is working on the identification, characterization and validation of biomarkers for the early detection of lung cancer.
"This first joint award between the ALCF and IASLC funds research that will positively impact lung cancer patients. Dr. Mjelle is a young, talented researcher whose dedication to lung cancer research is truly remarkable," said Bonnie J. Addario, 10-year lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. "As the first awardee of the ALCF-IASLC Fellowship, Dr. Mjelle will be able to continue his research on early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer. This grant allows him to travel and train at a lab of his choice anywhere in the world to solve problems related to early detection of lung cancer."
The prospective population-based HUNT2 and HUNT3 studies in Norway included 80,000 people with 190 clinical variables and blood samples collected during1996-7 and 2006-8 (http://www.ntnu.edu/hunt). For 65,000 participants there is more than 15 years follow-up, where more than 500 participants were subsequently diagnosed with lung cancers, where diagnosis, diagnosis date and date of death of all subjects are known. Using this cohort, Dr. Mjelle and colleagues plan to develop a risk-prediction tool that will help the development of a serum poly-marker kit.
"Detection of lung cancer in the earliest possible stage is currently the only path to increase survival. The project "Cancer Biomarkers in HUNT" aims to develop a blood-based biomarker for early lung cancer detection," said Dr. Mjelle. "The project uses pre-diagnostic serum samples from the HUNT biobank in Norway to measure RNA, proteins and metabolites in lung cancer patients and healthy controls. Having access to blood 1-5 years before diagnosis makes this project unique and enables the detection of biomarkers that could predict the cancer when it is still in curable stage. The 2016 ALCF-IASLC Fellowship Award will greatly benefit the progress of the project."
ALCF and IASLC received several promising submissions from researchers all over the world proposing innovative research projects on new modalities for the early detection of lung cancer. An international scientific peer review committee established by ALCF and IASLC reviewed these applications and unanimously chose Dr. Robin Mjelle as the recipient of the 2016 award.
"The work of Dr. Mjelle is recognized through this award because of the potential long-term impact of his research," said Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and CEO of the IASLC. "Determining risk of developing lung cancer is empowering to the individual and can help in screening for lung cancer so early treatment and disease management can be achieved."
Known for his unsurpassed research on biomarkers for early detection and new treatments for lung cancer himself, Dr. Hirsch joined the University of Colorado Cancer Center as a Professor of Medicine in 2000 and as a Professor of Pathology in 2004.
The objective of this new ALCF-IASLC funding mechanism is to identify brilliant, young "out of the box" thinkers/researchers who can deliver a meaningful and measurable results for the early detection of lung cancer that has a high probability of near-term benefit to lung cancer patients or individuals at risk, as well as to provide an opportunity for young researchers to learn new cutting-edge technologies and take this expertise back to their home country.
Learn more about this funding opportunity: https://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/research/fellowships/.
Learn more about Dr. Robin Mjelle's proposal: https://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/research/fellowships/.
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation:
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation's goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised nearly $25 million for lung cancer research and related programs.
About International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer:
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 5,000 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries. IASLC members promote the study of etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. IASLC brings scientists, members of the medical community and the public together from all over the world to share best practices and discover new and better ways to eliminate the health threat of thoracic cancers. Membership is open to any physician, scientist, nurse or allied health professional interested in lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, including patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates. Visit http://www.iaslc.org for more information and follow us on Twitter @IASLC.