Lung Cancer Initiative and The V Foundation Expand Partnership to Fund Lung Cancer Research

Contact: Heather Hooper 

Margaret Pentrack


Lung Cancer Initiative and The V Foundation Expand Partnership 
to Fund Lung Cancer Research 

Grant Recipients Will Research Disparities Among African-American Lung Cancer Patients in North Carolina 

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 1, 2016) - Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina, the state’s leading nonprofit organization supporting lung cancer research and education, announces its second annual partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations. Together, they will fund research focused on lung cancer, specifically among the African-American population in North Carolina. 

The V Foundation for Cancer Research has matched Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina’s $200,000 grant, totaling $400,000 devoted to researching this cause. Funding from The V Foundation comes from the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which honors the late celebrated ESPN sportscaster and University of North Carolina graduate Stuart Scott and assists some of the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted communities battling cancer. 

The focus of this research partnership is to fund new or existing lung cancer clinical trials in North Carolina or translational research proposals with specific aims that are moving toward initiating a near-term clinical trial. The projects also recognize and address the disparities in cancer incidence and death rates in African-Americans, as compared to all other ethnic groups. In the United States, lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer and more than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. Additionally:
•    There is a higher incidence of lung cancer (76.6 percent vs. 64.5 percent) and death from lung cancer (62 percent vs. 54.7 percent) in African-Americans compared to all other ethnic groups. 
•    Lung cancer incidence rate for black women is roughly equal to that of white women, despite the fact that the former group smokes fewer cigarettes than the latter. 
•    More than 433 lives are lost to this disease each day in the United States. 
•    In North Carolina, nearly 8,500 people are diagnosed with lung cancer annually, and more than 6,100 are expected to lose their battle with the disease this year. 
•    Only 17 percent of lung cancer patients are expected to survive five years beyond their diagnosis. iv

“We are honored to collaborate with The V Foundation for Cancer Research to fund research grants that will bring awareness to this underfunded disease,” says Heather Hooper, Executive Director of Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina. “Recognizing and addressing disparities in our community will not only improve understanding but save lives.”

“Lung cancer is a devastating disease that is striking at an alarming rate in minority populations,” says Susan Braun, Chief Executive Officer at The V Foundation. “The research funded through this partnership aims to determine why this is happening and how we can stop it. We look forward to great success by working together.”

The 2016 grant recipients are Chad Pecot, MD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his research on targeting the immune microenvironment to treat squamous cancers; and Jeffrey Clarke, MD at Duke University for his research on the identification of genetic determinants for disparities in African-American patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Additional details on the research projects can be found at

Since 2008, Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina has funded over $1.1 million towards lung cancer research. 

About The Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina 
As the state’s leading non-profit organization supporting lung cancer research and education, the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina specializes in connecting patients, survivors and loved ones with the medical and research community. The organization’s mission is to save lives and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, awareness, education and access programs across North Carolina.  For more information, or to get involved, please visit us at

About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.  Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $150 million in cancer research grants nationwide.  It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs.  Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses.  The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Committee.  For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

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