Skip to main content

Cracking the Code on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in Younger Adults

*December 2021*

There is a growing cohort of younger adults who are being diagnosed with lung cancer under 40 years of age. Alarmingly, the research points to an increase not only in diagnosis at a young age—but particularly in women.

Although the average age for a lung cancer diagnosis is 70, recent research into the under 40 group has shown that many more of these cases are likely to harbor targetable mutations (84%) which is much higher than historical expectations for the general population. More research is needed to identify causes.

As a follow-on to the Genomics of Young Lung Study – A new study, Epidemiology of Young Lung Cancer (EoYLC), seeks to pinpoint risk factors that may lead to a lung cancer diagnosis in young people. The survey looks at environmental and childhood exposures, and other potential risk factors that researchers hope will crack the code on lung cancer in those diagnosed under age 40.

“The importance of this study is the ‘why,’” says Stephen Huff, a Stage IV lung cancer survivor who was diagnosed at age 28. “We need to find out why we are getting lung cancer at such a young age.”

“We’re in a race to figure out this disease so that the next generation doesn’t get it,” says Emily Bennett Taylor, a Stage IV lung cancer survivor who, like Huff, was diagnosed at age 28.

Here’s how you can help.

The study is open to adults who were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer before age 40 and have completed comprehensive biomarker testing. The research itself has two components:

• A confidential online survey
• A small blood sample

The survey includes approximately 200 questions about patient demographics, medical history, active and passive smoking history, early life exposures, and more. As a convenience, participants can choose to have the blood sample collected at their home or select their own provider. These samples will be utilized for later correlative studies.

EoYLC hotline: 888-44EoYLC (888-443-6952) Study Webpage: