Two Young Women Lung Cancer Investigators Receive $200k Research Grants From Lung Cancer Foundation of America and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

Researchers will use IASLC/LCFA funds to create new lung cancer treatments for never-smokers and patients whose cancer has spread


Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) have awarded a pair of two-year grants to support research that will help lung cancer patients lead longer, healthier lives.

The grants were awarded to:

  • Haiying Cheng, MD, Ph.D. of Montefiore/Einstein Cancer Center in Bronx, NY.

Dr. Cheng’s work focuses on metastasis: the spread of lung cancer to other parts of the body, especially the brain, leading to serious neurological complications and an even shorter lifespan. The RICTOR gene may define a special group of lung cancer patients where this gene plays a role in lung cancer-related brain metastasis. It is hoped that Dr. Cheng’s research may find a way to interfere with the function of this gene with particular drugs called mTOR inhibitors and lead to new and more effective treatment for the management of this devastating problem.

  • Kellie Smith, Ph.D. with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Smith will focus on improving immunotherapy for non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) in patients without a history of tobacco exposure. These patients traditionally do not respond as well to immunotherapy as patients who were heavy smokers. Recent studies of immunotherapy in conjunction with or after chemotherapy have hinted that combining these treatments may be more effective in never-smokers. It is hoped that Dr. Smith’s research will create new clinical trials that will optimize the immune system response to cancer in these patients.

“The partnership between LCFA and the IASLC is particularly exciting as both organizations have joined together to support groundbreaking research with a high probability of significant impact on lung cancer treatment. It is an honor to support both Dr. Cheng and Dr. Smith and we look forward to the results of their research,” said AnnMarie Estrada, IASLC foundation director.

“We hope these research grants will lead to powerful new tools for treating lung cancer in never-smokers and patients whose cancer has spread to the brain,” said Kim Norris, LCFA president and co-founder.  

To date, LCFA and the IASLC have partnered to fund nearly $3.5 million in research grants.

About the IASLC

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 7,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit for more information.

About LCFA

LCFA’s mission is the dramatic improvement in survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science, with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. Visit for the latest information and to donate.

Press Contacts

Becky Bunn | |720.325.2946

Sarah Beatty | |303-949-2015

Source: Lung Cancer Foundation of America


Categories: Cancer/Oncology, Medical Research

Tags: immunotherapy, lung cancer, Lung Cancer Foundation of America, lung cancer research funding, metastasis, The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

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