About Lung Cancer Initiative 



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Who We Are 

As the state’s leading nonprofit organization supporting lung cancer research and education, Lung Cancer Initiative specializes in connecting patients, survivors and loved ones with the medical and research community. We have a high standard of fiscal responsibility for the funds we raise, and we pledge to maintain that standard while increasing advocacy across our state. Please refer to the LCI 2019-2020 Impact Report for more information.

Our Mission 

Our mission is to advance survivorship and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, education and access programs.

Why This Matters?

Lung cancer claims more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, making it the clear leader among cancer deaths, with over 440 lives lost to this devastating disease each day in the U.S. alone. In North Carolina 8,010 people are expected be diagnosed this year and 6,191 lives are projected to be taken by this disease. Despite this unacceptable fact, lung cancer research remains drastically underfunded and lung cancer as a disease remains largely overlooked. This lack of research funding and attention has dramatically slowed the progress for developing new treatments and saving lives.

Only recently has lung cancer research begun to increase. However, the reality is still that 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women are diagnosed with the disease, and only 21% of them are expected to survive five years beyond their diagnosis. Lung cancer advocacy suffers in comparison to some other diseases due to the low level of survivorship and the stigma associated with the disease. However, there is now a critical mass of survivors and advocates who need training and guidance for how to effect change at a grassroots level.

HOPE Matters Because of YOU! – Research, awareness and advocacy have brought about improvements in screening, diagnostics and treatments for other cancers that have led to longer and better lives for patients.

Together, we need to do the same for lung cancer. Research investment saves lives. 10 years from now when a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer, the Lung Cancer Initiative wants them to have hope for a life beyond lung cancer.

Your Contribution to Saving Lives

Research Since 2008, the Lung Cancer Initiative has funded more than $2.5 million in lung cancer research. Our support has jump-started the careers of researchers who have gone on to receive continued funding for their work from the National Institute of Health, Department of Defense and the American Cancer Society. In 2021 alone, LCI is committed to funding $325,000.

Awareness The Lung Cancer Initiative is committed to increasing public awareness about lung cancer. We do so through our events, education and outreach initiatives as well as other grassroots opportunities.

Education - Community Education Series - Through partnerships with North Carolina’s leading cancer centers, community education allows for patients and their families to come together to hear from experts on topics related to lung cancer and research. Past topics include: Updates in Lung Cancer Research, Multidisciplinary Care, Clinical Trials, Advanced Directives, Resiliency During COVID-19, Integrative Medicine and Survivorship.

Physician Education - We provide educational opportunities for health care professionals throughout North Carolina in order to improve diagnosis, referral and treatment. In 2019, we hosted several updates after ASCO for medical oncologists, pulmonologists and primary care providers in multiple locations throughout the state. In 2021, LCI is planning robust virtual educational opportunities. 

Access Patient Access to Care Gas Card - This program provides assistance to lung cancer patients who are seeking treatment, including clinical trials. The goal of the program is to lessen the financial burden for patients to receive appropriate lung cancer treatment by providing gas cards. LCI will distribute 500 $50 gas cards in 2021.

In 2020, LCI established a Patient Emergency Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and granted $250 stipends to help 80 patients in meeting basic needs.

The Lung Cancer Initiative is currently awarding three Access Grants up to $10,000 each to assist institutions to improve access to lung cancer screening, treatment, clinical trials, comprehensive biomarker testing or precision medicine for uninsured or underinsured individuals.



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