|NCI Announces Integrated Implementation
Plan to Fight Lung Cancer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today announced
an integrated effort to eliminate the suffering and
death due to lung cancer by 2015. Each year, 160,000
people in the United States die from lung cancer,
making it the number one cause of cancer deaths in this
country. This initiative further supports the NCI mission
to eliminate the suffering and death due to all cancers
The primary cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoke. “If
we are going to be serious about improving health and
preventing disease, we must continue to drive down tobacco
use and exposure to second-hand smoke in this country,” said
Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health
and Human Services.
However, smoking is not the sole cause of lung cancer.
Other environmental threats and factors play a role
in its development. “Reducing the burden of lung cancer
is absolutely essential to achieving our overall 2015
goal,” said NCI Director Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D.
As part of this integrated implementation plan, three
critical strategies will be targeted:
- Reducing the risk for lung cancer by achieving more
effective tobacco control
- Improving the likelihood of a cure through earlier
detection and treatment of lung cancer and pre-cancer
- Introduction of novel targeted therapies through
cohesive partnerships with ongoing or planned biology
Specific recommendations made by NCI’s I-2 team, or
Integration Implementation Team, include efforts in
- Cessation: Improve the success
rates of smoking cessation through a multi-pronged
approach including the development and testing of
promising therapies for nicotine addiction; develop
innovative studies to explore the genetics of nicotine
addiction and gene/environment interactions of nicotine
dependence; conduct vaccine research to understand
the potential role that the treatment of addiction
may provide; support ongoing studies to better characterize
the impact of nicotine on the developing brain.
- Early Detection: Maximize detection
efforts using proteomic and expression technologies
on tissue and biospecimen samples; utilize tissue
from lung cancer cases diagnosed in the Prostate Lung
Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) trial to identify markers
expressed in malignancies.
- New Drug Development and Response to Therapy: Study
the early cancer and pre-cancer microenvironment focusing
on the effects of inflammation, infection and injury
on the development of lung cancer; establish a lung
cancer-specific Image Response Assessment Team (IRAT)
to initiate standards for image acquisition, quantitative
image analysis of markers of response, and new molecular
imaging strategies to assess response; develop a model
that integrates genomic, transcription, proteomic,
and clinical manifestations of lung cancer and provide
a global road map of the current understanding of
lung cancer development, sites and mechanisms of drug
interventions; develop drug delivery systems and strategies
to stimulate research in alternative, more effective
and less toxic methods such as aerosolized drug delivery
for organ-confined disease or prevention, and nanoparticle-based
drug delivery for systemic disease.
The implementation of this initiative is under way,
and progress on these efforts will be reported in the
For more information on lung cancer research, clinical
trials, and other efforts at the NCI, please go to http://www.nci.nih.gov/cancertopics/types/lung.
For information on quitting smoking, please go to http://smokefree.gov/ or call 1-800-QUITNOW.
For more information about cancer, please visit the
NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's
Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4 CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The
Nation's Medical Research Agency — is comprised
of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and
supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical
research, and investigates the causes, treatments,
and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more
information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.