Lung cancer: Support vital research for better diagnosis and treatment
Last updated: 28/05/2013
Why this research is needed
More than 110 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every day, and sadly the majority will lose their lives to the disease.
This makes lung cancer the most common cause of cancer death in the United Kingdom.
The impact of our work
Cancer Research UK is the largest funder of lung cancer research in the UK. We’re doing everything we can to help beat the disease, from uncovering the molecules in cells that can cause the disease to developing new treatments.
With your support, we will find a way to beat lung cancer and stop it claiming more lives than any other cancer in the UK.
Supporting this project
Kam Biu donated
katie donatedIn memory of my Wonderful M... In memory of my Wonderful Mom - Shirley, Happy Mother's Day! A very strange day without you but fortunate to have so many fond memories to reflect upon. xxx more
Project closed - May 2013
Thank you to everyone who has donated and fundraised to help us reach the project target of £40,000! We really appreciate your support.
Fundraising and donations to this project have now closed, but we are raising money for another area of lung cancer research that you can support:
Raising public awareness
Because more than eight out of ten cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, we are also heavily involved in raising public awareness of lung cancer and the dangers of smoking, particularly through our national anti-smoking campaigns. We also carry out research to back up our campaigning work and are trying to find the best ways to help people quit.
Saving more lives from lung cancer is one of Cancer Research UK’s priorities. Unfortunately lung cancer is often diagnosed late, when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. This makes it much more difficult to treat successfully. Being able to diagnose lung cancer earlier could save many lives from the disease.
What research are we doing to beat lung cancer?
We’re working hard to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat lung cancer and some of our current research projects include:
Professor Stephen Spiro at University College London is leading a clinical trial called "Lung-Search" to find new ways of diagnosing lung cancer earlier. In the trial, long-term smokers with lung problems who are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer will have their phlegm (sputum) examined yearly for any abnormalities.
If no abnormal cells are found, they will be invited back the next year for another test. But if abnormal cells are found, they will be sent for further investigation by CT scan, and a technique called auto-fluorescence bronchoscopy, or AFB, where a special blue light is shone into the airways.
AFB detects abnormal cells because they show up differently to healthy cells, just like they are wearing a fluorescent jacket! This trial will find out if these techniques can detect lung cancer earlier and help prevent cancer by alerting doctors to abnormal cells so they can be removed before they become cancerous.
In the lab, at the other end of the research spectrum, Dr Juan-Jose Ventura at the University of Cambridge is examining a molecule called "p38alpha" which helps control how lung cells grow and divide. When it is missing in lung cells in the lab, cancer develops and Dr Ventura has shown that levels of p38alpha are also low in samples of tumour tissue taken from people with lung cancer.
Dr Ventura and his team now want to understand more about how p38alpha works and whether targeting it with drugs in the lab could stop cells developing into cancer. This work could lead to a better understanding of how lung cancer develops and potential new ways to treat the disease.
The difference you can make
By supporting our lung cancer research, you can be part of our vision to help four million smokers kick the habit by 2020 and find new ways to better diagnose and treat the disease. The cost of running a project like Dr Ventura’s is around £40,000 a year and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we will find a way to beat lung cancer and stop it claiming more lives than any other cancer in the UK.