Upstage Lung Cancer

Using performing arts to raise awareness and funding for lung cancer research

Research We Fund

Upstage Lung Cancer is proud to have funded over $1 million in lung cancer research.

2019: Using Organoids For The Early Detection of Lung Cancer

This grant was funded in part by Upstage Lung Cancer

Tyler Jacks, PhD
Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

David H. Koch
Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Jacks Lab is using lung organoids (miniaturized lungs that are grown in a dish from healthy cells) to discover new methods for the early detection of lung cancer via a blood or lung fluid test. Using organoids, the lab will transform the healthy cells through gene modification to become cancerous cells. Once this occurs, they have a sample of early stage cancerous cells that they can compare with healthy cells. Their goal is to identify proteins that are expressed and secreted only in the cancerous cell group and not the healthy cell group. The expression of these proteins could then serve as a biomarker which could be tested for in blood or lung fluids to provide early, non-invasive detection of lung cancer.