Groups introduce 2022 grant mechanism for ALK-positive lung cancer

NEW YORK, NY (March 28, 2022) – The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) and ALK Positive Inc. (ALK Positive) announce a research partnership to fund ALK-positive related lung cancer projects. Together, they pledge to fund three grants totaling $750,000 to advance high-impact research focused upon transforming care and improving outcomes for patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements, initially detected in NSCLC in 2007, occurs in approximately 5% of all lung cancer patients. However, it occurs in approximately 30% of lung cancer patients diagnosed under age 40, and there is no known correlation with smoking history nor any other health or environmental factors. About half of ALK-positive lung cancer patients are diagnosed before the age of 50 (compared to about age 70 for lung cancer overall), with many in their 30’s and 40’s, but some even in their teens and twenties.

The acceleration of precision medicine in NSCLC in the last decade, culminating in FDA approvals of targeted therapies for various molecular subsets of NSCLC, is in part due to advances in -omics and increased access to molecular profiling of tumors. The current FDA-approved treatment options for ALK-positive NSCLC include crizotinib, ceritinib, alectinib, brigatinib, and lorlatinib, with newer, next-generation therapies demonstrating superior efficacy against the disease. Although these ALK targeted therapies are associated with very durable responses, ALK-positive NSCLCs almost always develop resistance to currently available ALK inhibitors.

“ALK Positive is excited to partner with LCRF. Our partnership with LCRF leverages their rigorous selection process and access to experts to help us choose and support the research most likely to save the lives of patients and improve their quality of life,” notes Dr. Emily Venanzi, ALK-positive patient/survivor since 2017, and ALK Positive’s representative for this research partnership. “This $750,0000 research award program is our first research partnership with LCRF and will bring to almost $5,000,000 the total research grants our organization has helped fund and select. The members and supporters of ALK Positive and LCRF have made amazing efforts to raise funds for this award program. Currently, there is no known cure for this type of cancer in its advanced stage.”

“We are delighted to partner with ALK Positive on this funding mechanism,” remarked Dennis Chillemi, Executive Director of LCRF. “It is through partnerships like this one that research advancements are made. It is our hope that these awards accelerate ALK-positive therapeutics and uncover the next line of treatment options, so patients with this specific mutation have more options for positive outcomes.”

This funding mechanism will grant $250,000 over two years for selected projects and will be reviewed through a two-step process: first, submission of a Letter of Intent and, if selected, investigators will then be chosen to submit a full proposal. Both rounds of applications will be subject to a rigorous review by ALK Positive’s Research Review Panel and LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. More details about the Request for Proposal, along with eligibility, requirements, and deadlines are available at


About the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF)

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation® (LCRF) is the leading nonprofit organization focused on funding innovative, high-reward research with the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. LCRF’s mission is to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of lung cancer. To date, LCRF has funded 394 research grants, totaling nearly $39 million, the highest amount provided by a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding lung cancer research. For more information about the LCRF grant program and funding opportunities, visit

About ALK Positive

ALK Positive is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to improve the life expectancy and quality of life of ALK-positive cancer patients worldwide. ALK Positive is committed to raising funds for research to fund research proposals that will transform ALK-positive cancer into a chronic or curable condition for all patients living with this disease. ALK Positive has raised over $6M to date to fund ALK-positive specific cancer research. ALK Positive is affiliated with the ALK Positive Support Group, the world’s largest community of ALK-positive patients. For more information about ALK Positive, please visit


Sheila Sullivan
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Emily Venanzi
ALK Positive Medical Committee