Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide, in large part due to our inability to intercept the disease before it progresses to an advanced stage.
The Team has organized unique groups of patient populations with signs of lung cancer risk and has assembled a collection of blood and tissue specimens from these patients. The Team seeks to understand how early lung cancer develops and will test methods to block this development, using three complementary approaches:
-- First, they will create a molecular atlas of pre-cancer of the lung. These studies will identify which types of precancerous lung tissue require aggressive treatment and which treatments will block the development of these abnormal lesions to invasive lung cancer.
-- Second, they will develop two diagnostic tools that can be directly applied in the clinic for simple, yet accurate, detection of early lung cancer: 1) Nasal swabs, blood samples and radiological imaging to confirm whether lung abnormalities found on chest imaging are lung cancer or benign lung disease. 2) Blood tests able to identify patients at the earliest stages of lung cancer recurrence.
-- Third, they will develop tests to identify which individuals are most likely to benefit from a number of treatment strategies to intercept lung cancer, including emerging immunotherapies.