Performing arts organization propels improved awareness, funds early detection research
McGRATHPR.com – Upstage Lung Cancer (ULC), the Boston-based organization that exclusively utilizes the performing arts to raise awareness in the fight against lung cancer, announces the celebration of its 10th anniversary benefiting lung cancer research. Founded in 2008, the vibrant non-profit has funded more than $2 million in early detection research for the number one cancer killer.
Upstage Lung Cancer is the only cancer advocate organization to exclusively utilize live music and the performing arts to increase awareness, de-stigmatize the lung cancer disease and raise funds for cutting-edge early detection research. Finding lung cancer early increases survival and finding treatments improves quality of life. ULC awards grants to the finest research opportunities available, this year’s recipients include leading doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Koch Institute at MIT. The non-profit maintains ongoing partnerships with LUNGevity Foundation, Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Koch Institute at MIT.
ULC’s founder, lung cancer survivor and jazz recording artist Hildy Grossman has combined her passion for music with her desire to foster knowledge about lung cancer in the hopes of spotlighting new directions in research on early detection.
Grossman is one of the rare 5% of survivors enjoying life ten years after diagnosis. Her lung cancer was first discovered, by accident, in 2007. “Over the past 10 years, I’ve witnessed many advances,” shares Grossman. “New treatments emerge each year. And yet, we still must find a reliable, non-invasive, and inexpensive method to discover lung cancer at the earliest moment possible. This achievement will extend and improve lives. With advances, there are good reasons for hope.”
ULC annually presents its Fan Award to a recipient demonstrating exceptional leadership in the fight for a cure. Jerry Remy, beloved Red Sox announcer, was the first award recipient. This 10th anniversary honoree, Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and Founder and Chair of Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, has served as activist, advocate, educator, and agent for change empowering patients with a strong voice in the fight against lung cancer. An inspirational survivor herself, Addario received a stage 3B diagnosis more than a decade ago. She serves as the Foundation’s patient voice at national/international conferences, on panels and boards, and to industry leaders, clinicians and policy makers.
Kicking off the celebration of its first decade, ULC presents its next lung cancer benefit – a one-night-only cabaret concert. Barbra, Bette & Bernadette, a celebration of women’s voices, performs on Tuesday, October 23, 7:30 pm, at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown. A pre-concert silent auction begins at 6 pm with a reception to follow the show. The event is presented in continued partnership with the LUNGevity Foundation. Proceeds from the performance are donated to support early lung cancer detection research. Bonnie J. Addario will be presented this year’s Fan Award during the evening’s festivities.
A high-spirited evening of music making and storytelling, Barbra, Better & Bernadette honors the voices of Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters, three iconic female performing artists. The concert salutes the towering, talented trio of beloved and powerful singers who have transformed today’s popular music, leaving an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Notably, all three women performed the role of Dolly Levi in the Broadway musical Hello Dolly, a powerful, charismatic and determined woman with heart.
Emmy® Award-winning arts and entertainment critic Joyce Kulhawik returns for her 10th year as emcee, along with a celebrated lineup of renowned, award-winning New England performers, including Brian De Lorenzo, Hildy Grossman, Michael Hammond and Paula Markowicz. Special guest Candy O’Terry, radio and television celebrity, and founder and former co-host of WMJX Magic 106.7 Boston’s Exceptional Women radio show, adds her vocal talents and anecdotes from interviews with Bette Midler. Tim Evans takes the baton as music director alongside Michael Hammond, director. This inspiring concert offers a treasure trove of unforgettable stories and songs, including, “The Rose,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Second Hand Rose,” “Happy Days are Here Again,” “Broadway Baby,” Hello Dolly” and more.
Tickets to the Barbra, Bette & Bernadette tribute concert are $45 and $100 for reserved seating, with VIP tickets available from $250 to $500.
Upstage Lung Cancer is proud to offer complimentary tickets to lung cancer survivors (use code SURVIVOR). For tickets, group discounts, and more information about the Mosesian Center for the Arts, visit www.mosesianarts.org, call 617-923-8487 or visit the box office. Free parking is available on site. For more information about Upstage Lung Cancer, visit UpstageLungCancer.org.
Top 10 for 10 Years Stronger
Upstage Lung Cancer’s 10th anniversary celebrates the many advances discovered in the last decade. Looking forward, there is great reason for hope. ULC has proudly invested $2 million in early detection research with its partners. Here are the top 10 reasons why lung cancer research is 10 years stronger today.
- In 2011, a 53,000-patient study demonstrated a 20% decrease in lung cancer deaths through computed tomography (CT) screening. Low dose CT scans are now available for screening individuals who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. Screening helps detect lung cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. Unfortunately, less than 5% of people who qualify pursue these life-saving screening tests. ULC is dedicated to helping more people seek out these important scans.
- More new treatments for lung cancer have been approved by the FDA in the past three years than in the last three decades combined!
- When a targeted therapy is no longer effective, patients now have access to first, second and third-generation drugs. Today, doctors have more “tools in their toolbox” to treat patients than ever before.
- New treatment options are emerging even for rare “driver” mutations.
- Immunotherapy, a type of treatment that activates a patient’s own immune system to fight their lung cancer, is now an available treatment option for advanced-stage NSCLC patients.
- Notably, doctors now combine immunotherapy with traditional treatment options, such as chemotherapy, to bring even more potentially effective treatment options to patients.
- Non-small cell lung cancer is the most prevalent (80 to 85%). Researchers have made considerable advances in understanding hard-to-treat subtypes of lung cancers, (i.e., KRAS gene.) Today, researchers understand that KRAS-positive has specific subtypes that may require individualized treatments.
- Small cell lung cancer (10 to 15% occurrence) progresses quickly. The standard of care for the past three decades has been chemotherapy. Doctors now test both targeted therapies and immunotherapies to treat SCLC in clinical trials.
- Innovative “Liquid biopsies” utilize a blood sample instead of lung tissue. Monitoring circulating tumor DNA can complement or even replace traditional biopsies in monitoring patients. This method is less invasive, more time effective, and less expensive than traditional biopsies.