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The Lung Cancer Consortium Protocol

Nearly 220,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and 159,000 will die. Unfortunately, good early detection methods remain elusive, and diagnosis is often confirmed only after the cancer has spread beyond the lungs. Until now, therapies have been mostly “cookie cutter”, offering little beyond the standards of treatment. Recently, however, scientists have discovered the importance of defining mutations that occur in lung tumors, and how those mutations may be targeted with drugs that are specific and therefore, more beneficial.

It is known that lung tumors may harbor specific mutations, but research hopes to gain more knowledge of their frequency, how they relate to each other, what drugs work best against a specific mutation, and the rate of response. Lung cancer should no longer be treated with a single faceted approach, so it is important to gather as much information as possible so as to tailor the right treatment to each individual’s needs.

Fourteen of the leading cancer centers across the country are now offering free tumor screenings for those with certain sub-types of lung cancer. The goal of this project, called the Lung Cancer Consortium Protocol, is to identify mutations in non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma tumors for which there are specific, more effective and less toxic therapies. Patients who enroll for tumor testing must be advanced (Stage IIIB or IV), and must have sufficient tumor tissue available for testing. If the tumor tested is found to have a mutation, the patient will be guided toward any appropriate clinical trial that targets the specific mutation. A database will also be kept so that as new therapies become available, patients will be notified.

The fourteen participating cancer centers with contact information are:

Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Contact: Mohit Butaney

Emory University/Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA
Contact: Kim Kerstann

Johns Hopkins/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD
Contact: Marian Rutledge

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Contact: Deborah Jenkins

Mass General Hospital, Boston, MA
Contact: Laura Morrissey

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Contact: Isabella Berganini

Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL
Contact: Aaron Becker

MUSC/Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, SC
Contact: Shanta Salzer

National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Contact: Arlene Berman

UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA
Contact: Fran Rosen

University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO
Contact: Kelly Kugler

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Dominic Odom

University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Contact: Rachael Morrow

Vanderbilt-Ingraham Cancer Center, Nashville, TN
Contact: Brady Spencer