National nonprofit organization LUNGevity, is launching a Clinical Trial Ambassador Program aimed at connecting fist-time lung cancer trial participants with patients who have previously been part of a trial. A first of its kind program for lung cancer patients, the mentoring service will help prospective clinical trial participants understand more about the process, and how they can approach their doctor with questions.
Clinical trials investigating new therapies for lung cancer have significantly grown in numbers over the past several years. These studies provide patients with the latest in cancer treatments, and participation can help support new drug approvals.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a record number of new drugs in 2015, with seven new approved treatments for lung cancer hitting the market. Over 120 experimental lung cancer therapies are currently in the pharmaceutical pipeline, making lung cancer drug development a robust area of research.
“The therapies approved in the last five years would not exist without successful clinical trial research,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. “LUNGevity is proud to play a role in supporting both the patient experience and vital scientific progress by pairing potential lung cancer trial participants with those who have already undergone the process.”
Approximately one in every 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime. Around 60 percent of all new cases of the disease have been diagnosed in people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
Donor support has allowed LUNGevity to provide this mentorship program to patients at no cost to them. The foundation encourages both prospective mentors and those interested in becoming mentees, to apply through the LUNGevity website.
“Many people are fearful or uncertain about clinical trials because they know so little about them said Ferris. “LUNGevity’s program aims to provide useful information that can answer their questions from a patient’s perspective.”