Lung cancer causes 143,000 deaths per year in the U.S, yet treatment is unequal. Treatment is often a postcode lottery, and there are disparities among economic and racial lines. Brendon M. Stiles, MD, Chair of LCRF’s Board of Directors, says this gulf is an unmet need, but he is ‘confident that the projects… will lead to advancements in the field that will help overcome some of these gaps.’

The grants were allocated following a rigorous selection process, including reviews from LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. There were 43 applicants from 10 countries and 39 academic institutions. The two winners are Dr Manali Patel from Stanford University and Dr Betsy Risendal from the University of Colorado, who will each receive $150,000 over two years.

Dr Patel’s project ‘Reducing Disparities in Lung Cancer through Community Partnerships’ looks to engage patients in their care through social support and improving end of life care for low income and minority patients, to ‘improve lung cancer care delivery and reduce inequitable outcomes from these diseases.’

Similarly, Dr Risendal’s research ‘Improving Preventive Care to address Lung Cancer Disparities’, aims to improve screening rates amongst the most disadvantaged. She highlights the importance of this work by pointing out that ‘only 4% of people who could benefit have received lung cancer screening and hopes this gap can be bridged through ‘education, technical assistance and outreach’ with funding from the foundation’.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports Lung Cancer research to honour its former Chief Operating Officer Kathryn Louloudis, who died in September last year.