All revenue generated from the 2016 race will directly support research for the early detection of lung cancer. Through a competitive grant process administered by a Medical Advisory Committee within the CU Cancer Center, the grant funds a grantee and their research team over a two-year period. We encourage you to review the grantees and their research below.
Raphael Nemenoff, PhD – University of Colorado
The complement system is one of the primary effector arms of the innate immune system. Activation of complement in response to infection results in removal of infected cells. However, in cancer emerging data indicate that complement activation occurs in the setting of established tumors and may actually promote cancer progression. The overall goal of this project is to examine complement activation within developing non-small cell lung cancers as a potential mechanism for early detection. Functional studies will determine if complement inhibitors can block cancer initiation. Imaging studies will also determine if activation of complement can be used as a biomarker for early detection of lung cancer.
Anna E. Baron PhD - University of Colorado
Funding is being used to provide effective data in the use of CT screening for early detection and in identifying abnormalities suspicious for lung cancer. Success in this area could improve the application of low dose CT in lung cancer screening programs and the clinical care of persons with lung nodules.
Dr. York Miller - University of Colorado
The Gift of Life and Breath provided funding for Dr. Miller and his patient accrual for the Pulmonary Nodule Biomarker Trial. These patients provide critical data in evaluating several biomarkers that are being tested for early detection in sputum, plasma, serum, and exhaled breath compounds.
In 2007, the Gary L. and Thelissa Zollinger Endowment for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer was established within the CU Foundation. Prior to the development of a competitive grant process in 2012, all funds generated from the race supported this endowment. Some of the research that has been funded through the endowment includes:
Dr. Michael Weyant - University of Colorado
Dr. Kim O’Neill - Brigham Young University
Dr. Weyant and Dr. O’Neill have been working collaboratively on the study of TK1 as an early detection marker for lung cancer. Their research has included a presentation Thymidine Kinase 1 Staining Aids in Lung Cancer Prognosis at the 2011 American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, Florida as well as an article published in the May 2014 AntiCancer Journal entitled Serum Detection of Thymidine Kinase 1 as a Means of Early Detection of Lung Cancer.