Vision - To eradicate deaths and suffering from lung cancer to better the health and welfare of Service members, Veterans, and the American public
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, accounting for 22% of all deaths1. This year, more than 228,000 U.S. men and women will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and over 135,700 will die from the disease. Lung cancer is generally diagnosed at an advanced, incurable stage because patients often lack signs and symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Several factors have been shown to contribute to the development of lung cancer, smoking and exposure to environmental carcinogens being the most prevalent; however, 10-15% of lung cancers occur in people who are non-smokers. Lung cancer risk for our military is significant, with 24% to as high as 38% of Service members smoking, compared to 14% of civliians2. Deployments also worsen smoking rates by about 50%. Among military Veterans, 29% reported current tobacco use3 and an estimated 900,000 Veterans remain at risk due to age, smoking and other environmental exposures during and after military service. Despite improved screening methods for lung cancer and advances in treatment, the 5-year survival rate remains extremely poor at 20%.
The LCRP recognizes there are a broad range of unanswered research questions that are potentially critical to advancing prevention, detection, treatments, and cures for lung cancer. To meet this substantial need and the LCRP’s vision of eradicating deaths and suffering from lung cancer, the LCRP seeks to address the following strategic priorities:
- Identify innovative strategies for prevention of the occurrence of lung cancer.
- Identify innovative strategies for the screening and early detection of lung cancer.
- Understand the molecular mechanisms of initiation and progression to lung cancer.
- Understand contributors to lung cancer development other than tobacco.
- Identify innovative strategies for the treatment of lung cancer.
- Identify innovative strategies for the prevention of recurrence of or metastases from lung cancer.
- Develop or optimize predictive markers to assist with therapeutic decision-making.
- Understand mechanisms of resistance to treatment (primary and secondary).
- Identify innovative strategies for lung cancer care delivery (disparities/clinical management/ surveillance/symptom management).
2 US Secretary of Defense. 2016. Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments. Washington, DC: US Secretary of Defense.
3 Odani S, Agaku IT, Graffunder CM, et al. 2018. Tobacco product use among military veterans – United States, 2010-2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 67:7-12.
LCRP-Supported Key Research Resources
Dr. Avrum Spira
Boston University Medical Campus
Detection of Early Lung Cancer Among Military Personnel (DECAMP)
Last updated Monday, March 15, 2021