The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) recently launched a new study, the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer, to understand why lung cancer occurs in young adults, who quite often are athletic, never smokers and do not exhibit any of the known lung cancer genetic mutations. ALCMI, a patient-centric, international research consortium and partner of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), is facilitating this first-of-its-kind, multiinstitutional, prospective genomic study in order to identify new genome-defined subtypes of lung cancer and accelerate delivery of more effective targeted therapies.
“This groundbreaking study will investigate why young adults under the age of 40 are getting lung cancer and whether they have a unique cancer subtype, or genotype, that can be treated differently,” said Bonnie J. Addario, stage IIIB lung cancer survivor and founder of ALCMI and the ALCF. Our evolving understanding of the disease and new molecular tools suggest that young age may be an under-appreciated clinical marker of new genetic subtypes. An important goal for this research study is to reveal new lung cancer subtypes of lung cancer requiring distinct treatment strategies.
“Leveraging this study as a proof of principle, ALCMI is also characterizing other specific patient populations to support emerging data that lung cancer diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are more effective when individualized, and personalized approaches are brought to bear,” Steven Young, President and COO of ALCMI, who also points out this study represents a unique public-private collaboration between the ALCMI consortium and Foundation Medicine, Inc.
The Genomics of Young Lung Cancer study is centrally managed by ALCMI while the Principal Investigator is Barbara Gitlitz, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“This study lays the groundwork for discovery of novel targetable genotypes as well as heritable and environmental risk factors for lung cancer patients under 40,” Dr. Gitlitz said. “We’ll be evaluating 60 patients in this initial study and hope to apply our findings to a larger follow-up study in the future.”
Other investigators include Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, David Carbone, MD, PhD, of The Ohio State University, and Giorgio Scagliotti, MD, PhD and Silvia Novello, MD, both at the University of Torino in Italy. Patients may enroll in the study regardless of where they live, and will not need to travel to any of the above institutions. ■