Nearly 300 lung cancer investigators and advocates gathered virtually for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Lung Cancer Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) Workshop, held June 16-18, 2021. The annual workshop, which this year was hosted by Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, provides a forum for Lung Cancer SPORE grantees, patient and research advocates, and NCI staff to report on the latest developments in translational lung cancer research and plan new collaborative projects.
SPORE grants are designed to facilitate the rapid translation of discoveries from the lab to the clinic including new approaches to cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. The grants are highly competitive, with only four Lung Cancer SPORE grants active in the U.S. at present. Institutions with active Lung Cancer SPORE grants include: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern, Yale Cancer Center, and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
The 2021 Lung Cancer SPORE Workshop included four keynote speakers. Oral and poster abstracts covering eight topic areas were presented by more than 60 presenters from 12 different institutions. A patient advocate session, moderated by Rebecca Pentz, PhD, MS, focused on opportunities to advance the field and bring new therapies to patients through collaboration between lung cancer investigators and advocates.
The planning committee for this year's workshop included hosts Suresh Ramalingam, MD, and Haian Fu, PhD, who serve as principal investigators for the Winship Lung Cancer SPORE grant. Other planning committee members included: David Gerber, MD (UT Southwestern Medical Center); Tina Cascone, MD, PhD (MD Anderson); David MacPherson, PhD (Fred Hutch); Peter Ujhazy, MD, PhD, and Tamara Walton, MPA, MHA (Translational Research Program, National Cancer Institute); and Katerina Politi, PhD (Yale). Workshop logistics were coordinated by Kesley Tyson, MS, CCRP, Julie Hawkins, and Susannah Conroy.