Nov 20, 2019 10:00 AM

Dear Patients and Your Loved Ones,

We know how cancer impacts your lives. It has touched our lives too. We want you to know we are working hard every day to uncover clues and new strategies for treating lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death in the United States and in Utah. Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with smoking and the relatively few survivors of lung cancer, funding for lung cancer research is relatively low. Yet we know that people of all ages can develop lung cancer, including non-smokers, and our discoveries in lung cancer can affect the treatment of many types of cancer.

The Oliver Lab studies the three major subtypes of lung cancer:

These types of lung cancer look and behave differently, so we cannot treat them as a single disease. Our lab looks for weaknesses in each subtype that we can take advantage of. We are proud of a recent discovery that our lab made focused on small cell lung cancer (SCLC). We found that a type of SCLC relies on the amino acid arginine. We tested certain drugs that eliminate arginine in mice and found that these drugs significantly slowed down the growth of human tumors in mice. The drugs also helped those mice live longer. This work led us to write a proposal for a clinical trial with medical oncologists Wallace Akerley, MD, and Sonam Puri, MD, that we are seeking to open at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI).

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The Oliver Lab has undergraduates, PhD students, senior scientists, and even high school students, and we are all dedicated to making a difference for people with lung cancer. It is not uncommon for our scientists to work late into the night and on weekends, driven by their passion for finding answers to this deadly disease.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. We appreciate your support in spreading the word about our work at HCI. We also encourage you to take care of yourselves by avoiding cigarette smoke and vaping, and by supporting policies that aim to improve our air quality. We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your financial support that makes sure our work continues. It takes a large and diverse team with numerous skills and talents to have an impact against cancer. Together, we will make a difference.

Best wishes,
Trudy and the Oliver Lab

lung cancer letter of hope cancer research cell response and regulation

Cancer touches all of us.

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