News Release: Emory Healthcare , Research , Winship Cancer Institute

Dec. 21,  2009

Winship Researcher Earns $100K Grant for Lung Cancer Research

News Article ImageWinship Cancer Institute

Uniting Against Lung Cancer of New York in collaboration with the LUNGevity Foundation has awarded a $100,000 research grant to Johann Brandes, MD, PhD, to support his research into targeted therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  

Uniting Against Lung Cancer provides seed money for innovative research into early diagnosis and treatment. Promising projects are selected to spur advancements in lung cancer research. Since 2003, Uniting Against Lung Cancer has provided 61 direct research grants totaling more than $6 million.

Brandes is assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He also is a staff physician at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  

More than 215,000 people are diagnosed with NSCLC each year, and the five-year survival rate remains low.  While good progress has been made in therapy for lung cancer patients who have a particular gene mutation on the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), developing targeted therapies for those patients without this mutation remains a challenge.

 "We propose to address the remaining NSCLC patients in tests using poly-ADP ribosylation, or PARP inhibitors," says Brandes.  "PARP inhibitors have been shown to increase the effectiveness of taxanes in certain lung cancer cell lines.  We will also work to see if PARP inhibition can address acquired taxane resistance.

Uniting Against Lung Cancer funds innovative research to find a cure for lung cancer and increase awareness of the disease, including in people who have never smoked.  The organization was founded in 2001 as Joan's Legacy, in honor of Joan Scarangello McNeive.  

"We are very appreciative of this important support from Uniting Against Lung Cancer," says Brandes.  "This study is highly relevant since it could lead to a dramatic improvement in response rates and clinical outcomes in those lung cancer patients who currently do not benefit from novel targeted therapies."

Uniting Against Lung Cancer makes grant awards every Fall. The Foundation hosts Kites for a CureTM events across the country, a benefit every November (Lung Cancer Awareness Month), and other events throughout the year, which help to fund its research initiatives. For more information, please visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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