Two researchers with the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center have been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to expand lung cancer screenings to veterans across Indiana.
Lung cancer screenings to expand for Indiana veterans thanks to $1 million grant
Shadia Jalal, MD and Catherine Sears, MD received $1,025,753 from the National Center for Lung Cancer Screening and Lung Precision Oncology Program (LPOP), making Indianapolis a spoke site of a LPOP network regional hub location at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The network is the VA’s response to the Cancer Moonshot, which aims to prevent more than four million cancer deaths by 2047.
Sears is the local site investigator for LPOP-Indianapolis. She also co-chairs the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center’s lung cancer working group and directs the Roudebush VAMC lung cancer screening program. Jalal is program leader of the thoracic oncology program at the cancer center and leads the multidisciplinary thoracic oncology clinic at the Roudebush VAMC and will oversee veterans’ accrual to precision oncology lung cancer trials.
“This is significant for Indiana veterans. With this funding, we’ll be able to create the infrastructure needed to increase access to lung cancer screening for veterans from south of Bloomington to northern Indiana. We have the expertise. We just need to deliver it more broadly,” Sears said.
Though at higher risk of developing lung cancer, veterans get fewer screenings than the general eligible population.
This funding also allows access and accrual of more Indiana veterans into VA, IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, and cooperative group clinical trials for lung cancer.
“By improving veteran access to clinical trials within VA facilities, we help achieve the cancer center’s mission of serving rural and underserved populations,” Jalal said. “More importantly, designing clinical trials with veterans in mind will ensure equal access to trials as veterans are unique and at times have medical issues that can limit their enrollment on trials not designed with them in mind.”
Both Jalal and Sears stressed that veterans who smoke or have smoked tobacco products should ask their primary care doctors about a lung cancer screening.
About the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and one of only 56 in the nation. The prestigious comprehensive designation recognizes the center’s excellence in basic, clinical, and population research, its outstanding educational activities, and its effective community outreach program across the state. It is also one of only 33 members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. As a member, the center’s physicians have a role in determining the recognized standard of clinical care for cancer patients. The center is the central hub for cancer research and education across Indiana University.