Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November 04, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. – Lung cancer will claim the lives of twice as many women as breast cancer and three times more men than prostate cancer, leading to approximately 157,300 deaths. Moffitt Cancer Center is doing its part to fight this disease by launching an awareness and education initiative during November. By focusing on issues such as advancements in research and treatment techniques, patient/family testimonials and smoking cessation, Moffitt aims to help those in need of hope and direction.

Moffitt has many experts available for interviews regarding Lung Cancer Awareness Month, includingMary Pinder-Schenck, M.D.; Jhanelle Gray, M.D.; Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D.; Eric Haura, M.D.; Vani Nath Simmons, Ph.D.; andDavid J. Drobes, Ph.D..

SPORE Grant Funds New Lung Cancer Research Project

After receiving the prestigious Specialized Programs of Research Excellencegrant in 2008 of more than $10 million in five years, Moffitt has developed a new project that examines molecular subtypes of lung cancer. The project team, consisting of Schabath in molecular epidemiology, Gray in thoracic oncology, and Amer Beg, Ph.D. in immunology, is using gene expression profiling and risk factor data to understand these different types of lung cancer. They believe that different types of genes drive these different types of lung cancer and hope to be able to generate new clinical trials that personalize approaches to lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium Trial

Moffitt is one of 14 cancer centers participating in a national study that offers advanced lung-cancer patients screening of their tumors for genetic mutations. Some of these mutations might be targets for treatment with experimental or existing therapies.

The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium Protocol is a federally funded study coordinated by researchers at the University of Colorado. There is no cost for study participants to have their tumors tested, and they will have access to their results. Medical professionals guide participants to clinical trials of drugs targeting specific mutations found in their tumors. In addition, researchers at the 14 consortium sites are compiling a database. As new therapies are developed, they can also contact patients to link them to clinical trials investigating their specific tumor mutations.

For more information about participating in this study at Moffitt, please contact Clinical Research Nurse Aaron Becker at or (813) 745-4679, or Clinical Research Coordinator Timothy Estrella at or (813) 745-3685. Additional information about the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium can be found at

Lung Cancer Robotics

Early stage lung cancer patients can now benefit from robotic surgery at Moffitt.

Eric Toloza, M.D., Ph.D., is one of only a few highly skilled surgeons across the country performing this minimally invasive procedure. To operate the equipment, he sits at a console viewing a 3-D image of the surgical area. The system then translates his hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient.

The benefits of lung robotic surgery include shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery time and decreased pain and discomfort. Moffitt also offers robotic technology for prostate, kidney, bladder, testicular and uterine cancers.

L.A.T.T.E. Forum – Nov. 9

The Lung and Thoracic Tumor Education program will hold its bi-annual forum from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, 12902 Magnolia Drive. This event provides community education about lung cancer research, treatment, prevention and screening. 

The forum will include the “Faces of Lung Cancer©” exhibit; a tour of the lung cancer research lab; clinical presentations and an Ask the Experts panel discussion in English and Spanish. Panelists include Scott Antonia, M.D., Ph.D; Alberto Chiappori, M.D.; Marino Leon, M.D.; Melanie Mediavilla-Varela; Haura; and Gray. Resources and educational materials will also be available.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, desserts and coffees will be served. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT or e-mail Space is limited and reservations are required for the event. Please R.S.V.P. by Nov. 5.

Raising Awareness about Lung Cancer: An Educational Presentation – Nov. 17

Moffitt’s L.A.T.T.E. program will be at the Orlando Public Library at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 17 L.A.T.T.E. Coordinator Christie Pratt Pozo, MA, DHSc, will deliver a presentation on the many issues surrounding lung cancer and the importance of raising awareness.

The Faces of Lung Cancer© photo exhibit will be on display at the library from Nov. 15–30. Educational materials from Moffitt’s Patient Library will be available throughout the library.

L.A.T.T.E. patient advocate Joan Tashbar initiated this project with the Orange County Library System.

The Great American Smokeout – Nov. 18

Each year, Moffitt supports the Great American Smokeout, a campaign launched in 1976 to encourage smokers to quit for one day, geared toward the more than 45 million smokers in the United States.

If you are interested in receiving help to quit smoking, you may obtain free informational booklets from the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program as part of a study funded by the National Cancer Institute.  For more information, call Project Quit at 1-877-9-KICK-IT (1-877-954-2548), e-mail or visit  

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.