About the Program

The Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program at Mayo Clinic researches better methods to detect and treat lung cancer and to improve the quality of life for lung cancer survivors.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that some inherited factors can influence the course of lung cancer, including the response to treatment, disease progression, development of a new cancer, long-term survival and quality of life.

The Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program has two major goals:

  • Improve early detection of people who are at high risk of developing lung cancer by understanding the causes and natural history of lung cancer
  • Develop individual treatment plans through the testing of genes and help improve survival and quality of life for people diagnosed with lung cancer

Research projects

The four major research projects in the Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program aim to:

  • Clarify possible associations between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer
  • Ensure that the most effective treatment for lung cancer is offered to the right patient at the right time
  • Identify factors that can affect quality of life for lung cancer survivors
  • Further understand genomic and environmental factors that significantly impact the development, progression and prognosis of lung cancer in never smokers

Program director

The director of the Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program is Ping Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist with special training and experience in genetic epidemiology. Dr. Yang, a professor of epidemiology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, has a long-standing research interest in the causes and outcomes of lung cancer.

Dr. Yang's team emphasizes outcomes research, particularly patient-reported outcomes. The objective is to bridge the gap in the transition from a patient to a survivor by understanding deficits, defining needs and developing care models in lung cancer patients who completed cancer treatments.

Affiliations

The Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program is affiliated with several other Mayo Clinic research areas: