Research at City of Hope
Since its founding in 1913, City of Hope has achieved numerous scientific breakthroughs and pioneered many lifesaving procedures that have benefited patients worldwide. Today, we are recognized as a leading research and treatment center dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our mission is to shorten the time from initial research idea to new treatment in order to quickly bring cures to patients. For more information about current lung cancer clinical trials at City of Hope, visit our Clinical Trials page. 

Some of our recent Lung Cancer Research Program studies: 
  • We are striving to understand how lung cancer spreads so that we can work to prevent metastasis. Some patients will develop lung cancer spread due to microscopic disease at the time of surgery. We are studying markers of metastatic potential within lymph nodes of patients with completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We now better understand how the area outside the tumor and the immune system can contribute to cancer spread and are working to find targeted molecules to block tumor metastasis, with the goal of improving survival.
  • Treatment options for advanced stage NSCLC have increased in the last several years and biologic targets have been identified. We continue to evaluate novel therapies through multiple trials of new chemotherapeutic and targeted-therapy agents and novel combinations. As we gain knowledge into the biology of lung cancer, we have also incorporated the evaluation of biomarkers into our trials to better tailor therapies to our patients.
  • Studies with targeted therapies have demonstrated promising results. We seek to improve tumor shrinkage to targeted epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy in advanced NSCLC. To this end, we investigated a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, celecoxib, in combination with erlotinib, an EGFR inhibitor. The COX-2 pathway plays a key role in tumor growth, angiogenesis and resistance to therapy. We have completed a randomized trial evaluating the combination, and continue to investigate biomarkers to better understand how to select patients who will receive the greatest benefit from this therapy.
  • We are interested in the investigation of novel agents that target immune modulation through natural products. Patients with advanced lung cancer frequently have abnormalities in the immune system, especially depletion of certain T cells and B cells, which are important to the body's defense. Clinical research has shown that beta-glucans found in certain medicinal mushrooms can exert immune- enhancing activity. We have evaluated MM-IO-001, a solution produced from shiitake mushrooms containing beta-glucans, in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The study will determine whether the treatment can improve patients' immune system. Future work will evaluate components of the immune system that may inhibit lung cancer growth.
  • The Quality of Life component of our Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program conducts research to improve quality of life for lung cancer patients and to design effective interdisciplinary interventions to support lung cancer patients and their families. Because lung cancer patients often present with advanced disease, approaches to care are focused on maximizing quality of life through supportive and palliative care.