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National Lung Cancer Partnership

A group of women doctors and researchers interested in lung cancer got together in the fall of 2001 to discuss the emerging burden of lung cancer among women. At the time, no one was focusing specifically on understanding the disease in women, in spite of the fact that the incidence and death rate from the disease were rising among women in spite of falling for men.

These scientists also noted the mounting evidence that lung cancer affects women and men differently. The idea was born to start an organization that would focus upon the lung cancer burden on women and fund research into understanding how the disease affected women and men differently to improve treatments for everyone.

The first item of business was to institute a scientific conference to bring together interested parties. But to begin programming, an entity needed to be established to take in and distribute funds for the program.

In 2003, Women Against Lung Cancer (WALC) was incorporated in the state of Louisiana (where its first Executive Director resided), and accepted as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the IRS; the first Annual Meeting was held prior to the start of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting that year.

In early 2004, WALC recognized its growing need in the lung cancer community, and sought out a new Executive Director in Wisconsin, where it’s Board President, Dr. Joan Schiller resided. Dr. Regina Vidaver was hired to shepherd the fledgling organization.

In 2006, WALC’s Board of Directors recognized that the name of the organization was limiting its opportunity for impact in the lung cancer field. The Board changed the organization’s name to the National Lung Cancer Partnership to better reflect the partnerships that had been formed with the scientific, advocacy, and industry communities.

The mission of the organization has remained to decrease deaths from lung cancer and help patients live longer and better lives. While the mission is far from being complete, we are proud of the great strides we have already made.

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