Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the U.S., causing more deaths than colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined. In addition, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana rank in the top 15 states for lung cancer deaths, with Kentucky ranking first. Fortunately, lung cancer can be curable if detected early and aggressively treated. At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute (UCCI) Lung Cancer Center, we are focusing the expertise of the region's most advanced lung cancer team on improving survival through early detection, accurate diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment and clinical trials.
Researchers in the center are working to improve lung cancer treatments for better patient outcomes using targeted and individualized therapies and new immunotherapies. Physician researchers offer a number of early phase clinical trials, including investigator-initiated trials using the newest drugs and treatments that are not routinely available elsewhere, when standard treatments have not been effective. The Center also offers state-of–the-art radiation oncology facilities including proton therapy.
The team also maintains a prospective lung cancer patient database for research projects, outcome and quality improvement.
Scientific research in the Lung Cancer Center includes:
- Discovery and study of genes associated with higher risk of recurrence in patients with early stage lung cancer undergoing surgery.
- Preclinical studies of a vaccine targeting tumors that express a certain protein (human interleukin-15, or IL-15) and its receptor responsible for communication between cells and the body's immune system, to potentially initiate the immune response to fight lung cancer.
- Exploring the integration of early targeted or immunotherapy into the treatment of lung cancer.
- Addressing the acute and long-term side effects of treatment, along with better long-term functional outcomes.
- Studying mechanisms that result in response, or lack of, in cancer cells to certain treatments and markers that predict that behavior.
- Defining the role of proton beam radiation therapy in lung cancer.
The UC Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Center has a strong collaborative research relationship with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, meeting regularly to initiate projects integrating basic science and clinical medicine for the benefit of patients with lung cancer and increase research productivity. The research team has published numerous scientific manuscripts in high-impact national medical journals in an effort to share knowledge and facilitate new concepts that will improve clinical care for lung cancer.