Press Releases

Uniting Against Lung Cancer announces the "Caine Halter Hope Now Award for Lung Cancer Research.”

Published: November 16th, 2009

Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Greenville, South Carolina Family Recognize Excellence Among Lung Cancer Researchers with the Caine Halter Hope Now Award

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Researcher Lauded For His Leading-Edge Research Efforts

Uniting Against Lung Cancer announces the "Caine Halter Hope Now Award for Lung Cancer Research.”

This year’s awardee is Marc Ladanyi, M.D., Chief of the Molecular Diagnostics Service of the Department of Pathology and Member in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.

The annual Hope Now Award is intended for the research lab and its leader showing the most progress in lung cancer research in a particular year. The purpose of the award is to publicly honor and recognize excellence in lung cancer research and to encourage development of novel treatment options for lung cancer survivors. Dr. Ladanyi will receive a one-year award of $25,000 to apply towards lung cancer research.

As head of the clinical molecular diagnostic laboratories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Ladanyi established rapid and sensitive EGFR mutation detection assays that allowed early implementation of tumor mutation testing, making the discovery of EGFR mutations in lung cancer immediately relevant to the routine care of lung cancer patients. Since 2004, under his leadership, the clinical molecular diagnostic laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has analyzed the tumors from more than 2,800 lung cancer patients for EGFR mutations, allowing for optimal treatment selection. Beyond EGFR mutation testing, which has become the new standard of care for patients with lung adenocarcinoma, Dr. Ladanyi has also been a leader in major efforts to introduce into routine practice even broader large scale screening of lung cancer tumor specimens for additional mutations that can be targets for new drugs and his lead is now being followed by groups worldwide. Aside from his efforts in translating key scientific discoveries into clinical care, he also directs a basic research laboratory that focuses on understanding the distinct molecular subtypes of lung cancer using the tools of cancer genomics and molecular biology. .

The Uniting Against Lung Cancer Medical Committee nominated candidates for the award recognizing leading lung cancer research labs, with a specific individual as the recipient.

Uniting Against Lung Cancer is funding innovative research into more effective diagnosis and treatment and increasing awareness of lung cancer, including in people who never smoked. Uniting has funded over $6 Million in new and cutting-edge research to bring us closer to a cure.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States, taking more than 162,000 lives each year. Yet lung cancer receives far less research funding than any other major cancer, making the work of the organization even more compelling.

Caine Halter was a healthy, 45-year old non-smoker whose life was taken by lung cancer in August 2007 after a valiant 13-month battle. Inspired by his courage and grace, Caine's family and friends are committed to raising funds for lung cancer research in his honor, so that others diagnosed may have a fighting chance to live. In 2008, The Caine Halter Fund for Lung Cancer Research began sponsorship of the Hope Now Award, which is now known as the Caine Halter Hope Now Award.

For more information about the Caine Halter Hope Now Award, the Foundation’s research grant program, its events across the country, or lung cancer itself, please visit www.UnitingAgainstLungCancer.org.