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The one hundred honoree: Uniting Against Lung Cancer

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Uniting Against Lung Cancer

Mass General Giving

The New York-based foundation Uniting Against Lung Cancer is dedicated to finding a cure for the most common cause of cancer death in the United States — a disease that kills nonsmokers and smokers alike.

Uniting Against Lung Cancer grew out of another nonprofit, Joan’s Legacy: The Joan Scarangello Foundation to Conquer Lung Cancer. In 2001, 47-year-old journalist Joan Scarangello, a nonsmoker, died of lung cancer two decades after her mother, also a nonsmoker, died of the same disease. Joan vowed to find a cure and her fight has inspired her family and friends and now an entire community to keep her promise.

Over the past 10 years, the nonprofit has made research grants totaling more than $10 million. Its forward-looking investments have triggered another $50 million in follow-on funding from other sources.

Encouraging new talent and collaboration, the foundation holds an annual meeting for its grantees including both junior and senior investigators, who obtain feedback from physician-scientists at the forefront of lung cancer treatment and research.

Among the foundation’s funding priorities is the development of new therapies based on genetic profiling. The foundation has been in the vanguard of funding such translational research, including pioneering studies at Mass General to match therapies with patients’ genetic profiles.