LCRF Awards $300,000 in Research Grants for Projects Addressing Lung Cancer Disparities

Funding Provided with Support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

NEW YORK, NY (June 11, 2019) – The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) today announced the awardees of the 2019 LCRF Research Grant on Disparities in Lung Cancer. With support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in loving memory of Kathryn Louloudis, LCRF awarded $300,000 in research grants for projects focused on overcoming disparities in lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death worldwide, accounting for an estimated 143,000 deaths annually in the United States alone, and research shows that living with and being treated for lung cancer is not experienced equally for all Americans. The burden of this disease disproportionately affects certain groups such as low socioeconomic status populations, people living in certain geographic locations such as rural areas with limited healthcare resources, and different racial/ethnic groups. Moreover, despite progress to reduce the burden of tobacco use, disparities in tobacco-related morbidity and mortality remain.

“Research on disparities in lung cancer is an unmet need and is why funding on this topic is so critical,” said Brendon M. Stiles, MD, Chair of LCRF’s Board of Directors. “Certain groups of individuals are either more susceptible due to biological or environmental factors or have limited access to quality care. We are confident that the projects we are funding will lead to advancements in the field that will help to overcome some of these gaps.”

In keeping with previous LCRF funding mechanisms, this research grant is rigorously designed to adhere to guidelines based on criteria from the National Cancer Institute and leading cancer centers to identify the most impactful grant applications. A comprehensive approach involving multiple reviews and deliberation by LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board to critically assess and identify research of the highest caliber was utilized to select the awardees.

Upon release, LCRF received a strong response to the request for proposals (RFP), receiving 43 applications representing 10 countries and 39 academic institutions. This funding mechanism will provide $150,000 over a period of two years ($75,000 per year), and this year’s grantees include Dr. Manali Patel from Stanford University and Dr. Betsy Risendal from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Patel’s research project is titled, “Reducing Disparities in Lung Cancer through Community Partnerships” and will focus on utilizing social support to engage patients in their care and improve access to end-of-life cancer care for low-income and minority patients with advanced stages of cancer.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to reduce lung cancer disparities with support from this award from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation,” said Dr. Patel. “Achieving equitable outcomes in lung cancer requires a stakeholder engaged approach from healthcare delivery systems, patients, caregivers, payers and policy makers. Our work, supported by this grant, will allow us to convene these stakeholders to improve equitable lung cancer care delivery and reduce inequitable outcomes from these diseases.”

Dr. Risendal’s research project is titled “Improving Preventive Care to Address Lung Cancer Disparities” and will seek to address disparities in lung cancer screening with the overall goal of increasing uptake and delivery of screening to vulnerable populations.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to address lung cancer disparities by building on our recently completed pilot work at the University of Colorado Cancer Center,” said Dr. Risendal. “National data suggest that only 4% of people who could benefit have received lung cancer screening, and our pilot work identified some important barriers we can address with this new funding from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. Through the provision of education, technical assistance and outreach we hope to ultimately increase the uptake and delivery of this life-saving preventive screening."

Kathryn Louloudis joined the Stavros Niarchos Group in 1985, before the establishment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and went on to serve as Chief Operating Officer and President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s New York office. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is supporting lung cancer research to honor the commitment, strength, and dignity Kathryn brought to her work.

“Kathryn’s hard work, generosity, kindness, and force of personality left an indelible impression on all of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Supporting an initiative that aims to attain lasting improvement in health outcomes, addressing at the same time debilitating inequalities in health services, is a fitting tribute to a remarkable person. We wish Drs. Patel and Risendal the best for progress in their invaluable research,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

More information about Dr. Patel’s and Dr. Risendal’s projects may be found on the LCRF website at: lcrf.org/currentgrants

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About the Lung Cancer Research Foundation

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 provided $33 million in research grants to investigators around the world. In addition to funding lung cancer research, the organization focuses on lung cancer awareness and educational programs. The Foundation also hosts community events nationwide through its Free to Breathe Events Program.

For more information, visit www.lcrf.org

About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $2.7 billion, through more than 4,500 grants to nonprofit organizations in 124 nations around the world.

SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

Contact:
Emily Krimbel, ekrimbel@lcrf.org, 212.588.1580
SOURCE Lung Cancer Research Foundation