STS and AstraZeneca Join Forces to Accelerate Lung Cancer and Disparities Research, Education

Strategic collaboration aims to expand treatment options, improve patient outcomes

CHICAGO (November 3, 2021) — The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has entered into a partnership with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in an effort to advance and improve lung cancer treatment and eliminate disparities in health care.

This partnership will help facilitate a series of educational programs that range from conducting advanced skills courses to helping early career surgeons design optimal clinical trials.

“From a caregiver’s perspective, it is critically important to be informed about the rapidly evolving therapies available in thoracic oncology,” said STS President Sean C. Grondin, MD, MPH, FRCSC, from the University of Calgary in Canada. “This partnership with AstraZeneca will help us develop and disseminate important information involving novel research findings and new techniques on how to improve the quality of life, as well as the life expectancy, for patients with lung cancer.”

The partnership will also allow STS to actively investigate and address inequities in health care and health outcomes experienced by patients based on social, racial, ethnic, and economic characteristics. 

AstraZeneca—considered at the forefront of lung cancer treatment with a diverse portfolio of medicines to treat the disease—has committed $1.5 million for these programs in 2021 and 2022.

The first educational program will be a free webinar on Thursday, November 4, at 7:00 p.m. ET. “Surgeons and Comprehensive Biomarker Testing for Lung Cancer Patients” will feature surgeons from different practice environments in the United States and Canada offering perspectives on comprehensive biomarker testing and targeted lung cancer therapies. Additional programs will be offered throughout 2022. 

The Society’s charitable arm, The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF), will offer two new awards—one grant supporting investigators involved in lung cancer research and another supporting those exploring minority health disparities.

“Thoracic surgeons are well positioned to help end health disparities,” said David Tom Cooke, MD, Chair of the STS Workforce on Diversity and Inclusion, from UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California. “This exciting partnership with AstraZeneca will assist STS in providing its members with the tools and resources to continuously improve equitable cancer care and succeed in the quest for cures for all of our patients.”  

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. 

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For more information, contact Jennifer Bagley at jbagley@sts.org or 312-202-5865.

About STS
Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 7,600 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to advance cardiothoracic surgeons’ delivery of the highest quality patient care through collaboration, education, research, and advocacy. Learn more at sts.org.

About The Thoracic Surgery Foundation
The Thoracic Surgery Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization that is the charitable arm of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The Foundation has awarded more than $19 million in cardiothoracic surgery research and education grants since it was founded in 1988. The TSF mission is to foster the development of surgeon scientists in cardiothoracic surgery; increasing knowledge and innovation to benefit patient care. Learn more at thoracicsurgeryfoundation.org.