The LUNGevity Foundation, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and the Melanoma Research Alliance have established a partnership to co-fund a new, innovative research project on PD-1 inhibitor treatment options for both non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic melanoma (MM) patients with brain metastases, according to a recent press release. The first-of-its kind collaboration will award Yale University researcher Lucia Jilaveanu with the funding for her continued research into treating the two indications, both of which are known to lead to high incidences of brain metastases in patients.
Jilaveanu’s project, Response to PD-1 Inhibitors in Melanoma and Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases is focused on studying systematic immune therapies in patients with melanoma and lung cancer and brain metastases. Jilaveanu’s project is unique in that, although this kind of treatment is encouraged, patients who suffer from the condition are typically excluded from clinical trials due to their poor health, limiting their therapeutic options, despite the fact that among NSCLC and MM patients, about 50,000 suffer brain metastases.
“The LUNGevity Foundation is thrilled to collaborate with Melanoma Research Alliance and the Lung Cancer Research Foundation to tackle a serious concern that affects both of our communities,” said LUNGevity Foundation President Andrea Stern Ferris. “Immunotherapy is one of the most promising new fields of medical science. To expand this advancement to lung cancer patients with brain metastases could open a whole world of treatment to 50,000 people every year who have not yet been able to access this vital therapy.”
This is the first time ever that a funding partnership between lung cancer and melanoma foundations has been established, and the organizations involved explained the impetus for the unique partnership by noting the shared urgency to address the lack of therapeutic options for patients with brain metastases. Non-small cell lung cancer patients have the highest incidence of brain metastases among all cancers, while melanoma patients have the highest likelihood of having the disease metastasize to the brain once it has spread.