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Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations, 2676226624

NCCN Announces Funding for Small Cell Lung Cancer Research Projects

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Oncology Research Program selects projects focused on reducing gaps in patient care for people with limited-stage (LS) and extensive stage (ES) small cell lung cancer.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [August 28, 2023] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) today announced grants awarded to foster and enhance quality-of-care, guideline concordance, and innovations in care delivery for patients with limited-stage (LS) and extensive-stage (ES) small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The NCCN ORP will oversee the projects; funding will be provided through support from AstraZeneca.

There are more than 30,000 new incidences of SCLC per year in the United States. Many patients with SCLC experience significant symptoms that require urgent assessment and intervention. The aim of these projects is to develop innovative approaches to reduce any gaps in multi-disciplinary care and improve outcomes for both LS- and ES-SCLC patients.

“A significant number of patients with small cell lung cancer do not receive therapy consistent with established clinical practice guidelines in both the limited and extensive stage settings. We can improve access to, and receipt of, effective care in this patient population, including enhanced use of both anti-cancer therapies and supportive care,” explained Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN. “Congratulations to these inspiring investigators. We hope their work results in improvements for the management and care of people with SCLC.”

The selected projects are:

  • Asrar AlAhmadi, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • The Impact of Area Deprivation Index on Clinical Outcomes of Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Afshin Dowlati, MD, and Melinda Hsu, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • An Innovative Team Approach to Standardize SCLC Care Delivery Across an Integrated Health Care System
  • Salene M.W. Jones, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
  • Provider and Intervention Barriers to Multidisciplinary, Guideline Concordant Care in Small Cell Lung Cancer
Left to right: Drs. AlAhmadi, Dowlati, Hsu, and Jones
Dr. AlAhmadi Dr. Dowlati Dr. Hsu Dr. Jones

“AstraZeneca is committed to improving outcomes for small cell lung cancer patients across all stages of the disease,” said Nabil Chehab, PhD, U.S. Head of Medical, Lung Cancer at AstraZeneca. “Our hope is this collaboration will lead us one step closer to better understanding real world challenges to the equitable delivery of care in SCLC to ensure that no patient with SCLC is left behind.”

Proposals were peer reviewed by a Scientific Review Committee, which consisted of leading expert oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions. The selected projects are set to be completed within two years. Approximately $750,000 in funding will be provided across all grants.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improve the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website, an informed consent database, and points to consider on the best practices for biorepositories, registries, and databases. For more information, visit

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit for more information.