Nov102014

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Honors Novartis for its Contributions to Lung Cancer Research and Development

Posted by Kassy Perry

Novartis to receive the “Simply the Best” award at the ALCF Gala on November 8

San Carlos, Calif. (November 8, 2014)– The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) will honor Novartis today for its dedication and recent breakthroughs in lung cancer research and development. Novartis will receive the “Simply the Best” award at the ALCF’s Annual Gala taking place in San Francisco.

“Lung cancer is the top cancer killer worldwide and patients’ five-year survival rate remains stagnant at 16 percent,” said Bonnie J. Addario, founder of the ALCF and a stage 3B lung cancer survivor. “Research and development is essential to change the survival rate and we are excited about Novartis’ medical advancements – it’s a big step forward for people with lung cancer.”

In April, Novartis received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) early approval for an ALK inhibitor following the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Novartis recently expanded its efforts in the field of immunotherapy, specifically for non-small cell lung cancer. In October, the company announced a clinical collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to study several of Novartis’ molecularly targeted compounds in combination with an immunotherapy agent from BMS. All are steps to help patients in their fight against lung cancer through the development of medicines that can help target the deadly disease with an individualized approach.

“Novartis is honored to be recognized by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation for our research and development achievements. Our approach to drug development is to understand on a genomic level what drives different cancers to develop and grow, and to identify specific compounds to hone in on those targets to make a difference for people living with cancer,” said William Hinshaw, Executive Vice President and Head, Novartis Oncology US. “Lung cancer is a disease that is not easily detected in its early stages. It has a complex genetic profile that is being better understood through scientific advances. Novartis continues to work together with the lung cancer community on scientific research with hopes of finding new advances for patients with this disease.”

While the understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer has improved, there is additional work to be done. In 2013 alone, more than 228,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates nearly 160,000 Americans will die of the disease.[i]

The facts about lung cancer cannot continue to go unnoticed:

  • Lung cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined and it accounts for 27 percent of all cancer deaths.[i] It is the second leading cause of all deaths in the U.S. [ii]
  • Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in every ethnic group2 and since 1987 has killed more women every year than breast cancer.[iii]
  • The five-year survival rate for lung cancer has changed little in nearly 40 years – from 12 percent in 1970 to 17 percent today.[iv]
  • NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of all diagnoses.[v]

This staggering loss of life has gone unnoticed too long, and the ALCF is on a mission to change the statistics. Additionally, the ALCF funds clinical research that may lead to potentially life-saving discoveries and treatments and provides critical support services and educational programs to empower patients, power progress and create hope.

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $20 million for lung cancer research and related programs.

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[i] American Cancer Society. Lung Cancer Facts & Figures 2013. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-036845.pdf. Last Accessed: October 14, 2013.
[ii] Lung Cancer Alliance. 2012 Lung Cancer Facts. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/resources/facts-figures/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html#1. Last Accessed: October 14, 2013.
[iii] American Lung Association. Lung Cancer Fact Sheet. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/resources/facts-figures/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html. Last Accessed: October 14, 2013.
[iv] National Cancer Institute. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Fast Facts. Available at: http://seer.cancer.gov/faststats/selections.php?#Output. Last Accessed: October 17, 2013.
[v] American Cancer Society. Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell). Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-non-smallcell/detailedguide/non-small-cell-lung-cancer-key-statistics. Last Accessed: October 14, 2013.