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SU2C-LUNGevity-American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team: Intercept Lung Cancer Through Immune, Imaging, & Molecular Evaluation (InTIME)

Avrum Spira, MD

Avrum Spira, MD

Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics
Director of the Boston University-Boston Medical Center (BU-BMC) Cancer Center

Steven Dubinett, MD

Steven Dubinett, MD

Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Director of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and the Clinical Translational Science Institute
University of California, Los Angeles


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.

Amount of Funding

$5 million


  • Julie Brahmner, MD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, Stanford University
  • Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD, Harvard University and Dana-Farber Cancer Center
  • Charles Swanton, MBBS, Francis Crick Institute and Cancer Research UK


  • Kim Norris, founder, Lung Cancer Foundation of America
  • Marcia Horn, president and CEO, International Cancer Advisory Network (ICAN)