The University of Kentucky has announced a $7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation in support of a collaborative project aimed at reducing the burden of lung cancer in the Bluegrass State, which has more cases of lung cancer than any other state in the country.
Awarded through the foundation's Bridging Cancer Care initiative, the grant will support Kentucky LEADS (Lung Cancer. Education. Awareness. Detection. Survivorship), a collaboration of the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and the Lung Cancer Alliance that will bring together an interdisciplinary team of community partners and lung cancer experts to assess novel approaches for identifying the disease earlier, with the goal of improving survival rates. The project also will develop and evaluate interventions aimed at improving quality of life for individuals with lung cancer and their caregivers.
In the first phase of the program, U of L researchers will review the patterns and factors affecting referral and treatment of lung cancer patients across the state to familiarize themselves with best practices in caring for patients who are at high risk of developing lung cancer or are diagnosed with the disease. Subsequently, a UK team will develop a lung cancer-specific survivorship program that promotes quality of life and well-being for individuals diagnosed with the disease, as well as their caregivers. Finally, the Lung Cancer Alliance will partner with UK researchers on the survivorship and screening components of the project, including program design, administration, communications support, and dissemination.
"Historically there's not been a lot of research or effort put into lung cancer survivorship because, unfortunately, there hasn't been much survivorship," said Jamie Studts, associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky and director of Kentucky LEADS. "This project is an effort across several domains to help providers, patients, caregivers, and healthcare programs do the best job possible to achieve better care and increase lung cancer survivorship."