Members of the Joan DeCotis Foundation Board of Directors presenting a check to Kayla Rosati, Director of Operations for the Brown University Oncology Research Group. (Left to right): Mark McGovern, Joyce McGovern, Kayla Rosati, Kristen Liguori, Ralph Liguori.


This past winter, the Joan DeCotis Foundation continued its mission of finding a cure for lung cancer by supporting the efforts of the Brown University Oncology Research Group (BrUOG). In December 2016, the Foundation presented a check to BrUOG to fund two clinical drug trials. BrUOG will use the funds to continue work on two clinical trials:

BrUOG 317-Nivolumab and Ablation For Patients With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Progressing After at Least One Prior Therapy For Metastatic Disease: Nivolumab releases the inhibition of the immune system against human cancers. Dramatic and sustained activity has been observed in advanced lung cancer. Ablation may stimulate the immune system by exposing new tumor antigens. Since tumors that express PD-L1 may be more likely to respond to nivolumab, if ablation increases PD-L1 expression (which has not been studied) this treatment may enhance the activity of nivolumab at both the treated site and in other, non-treated, tumors. Ablation is already an FDA approved treatment for cancer. Nivolumab was recently FDA approved for second line treatment of advanced squamous cell NSCLC. The goal of the study will be to determine if the combination of nivolumab and ablation has higher systemic activity than previously reported with nivolumab alone.

BrUOG L301- Xofigo Following Frontline-Line Chemotherapy For Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Bone Metastases: In this study, patients will receive the medicine Xofigo which is a radioactive drug that is FDA approved to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Xofigo has not previously been tested to treat lung cancer that has spread to the bones. Doctors are studying the effects, good and bad, of Xofigo when used to treat lung cancer that has spread to the bones.

It is the hope of the Joan DeCotis Foundation that efforts such as these by BrUOG will continue to drive innovation and progress towards the Foundation’s goal of finding a true cure for lung cancer.