Navigation Links
Lung cancer study hints at new treatments

Studying the most common type of lung cancer, researchers have uncovered mutations in a cell-signaling pathway that plays a role in forming tumors. The new knowledge may expand treatments for patients because drugs targeting some of these genetic changes already are available or are in clinical trials.

Reporting July 9 in Nature, investigators from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), including researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Harvard Medical School and other institutions, studied tumors from 230 patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

"This is the first time we have had a panoramic look at the genomic landscape of this many lung tumor specimens," said oncologist Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, professor of medicine at Washington University and TCGA lung cancer project co-chair. "These studies reinforce the opinion that lung cancer is a very heterogeneous disease."

Combined with an earlier study of 178 patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma, TCGA researchers now have published genetic data on about 400 lung cancer patients and are working to analyze tumors from 600 more. The investigators included scientists at The Genome Institute at Washington University and other major sequencing centers.

In the new study, among the myriad genetic changes observed in adenocarcinoma, one cell-signaling pathway stood out. About 75 percent of the samples had mutations that overactivated a pathway called RTK/RAS/RAF, known for roles in tumor growth.

"It is remarkable how important the RTK/RAS/RAF pathway appears to be," said Govindan, who treats patients at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. "Mutations in this particular pathway promote cancer cell proliferation. What is amazing is how many ways this pathway can be activated.

"We also know these tumors are not static," he added. "They evolve. We have to be looking at multiple biopsies over time to see how the tumor cells escape, inhibiting one pathway and becoming resistant to therapies."

The researchers also found other relevant mutations in important genes such as EGFR, NF1, NF2 and MET. Such findings could be valuable to a clinical trial known as ALCHEMIST (Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trial) that Govindan is leading. The trial will involve the screening of tumors from several thousand lung cancer patients for alterations in genes called EGFR and ALK. After surgery to remove their tumors, these patients will be invited to participate in clinical trials studying drugs targeting these dysfunctional genes.

The ALCHEMIST trial builds on the current study and also potentially will provide additional tumor samples for genomic analysis. A large sample size is important in accurately identifying mutations driving lung tumor growth.

"Patients with lung cancer often have substantial tobacco exposure, which leads to a lot of mutations," Govindan said. "We may not be able to find significant mutations unless we study multiple samples from several thousand patients."

Despite such progress in understanding lung cancer the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide the investigators emphasize that the best way to reduce lung cancer deaths is to help people stop smoking and encourage others to never start.


Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
Washington University School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Fox Chase researchers recommend updating the staging criteria for breast cancer diagnoses
2. MyChart use skyrocketing among cancer patients, UT Southwestern study finds
3. A possible pathway for inhibiting liver and colon cancer is found
4. Low doses of arsenic cause cancer in male mice
5. Support team aiding caregivers of cancer patients shows success, CWRU researchers report
6. Does cycling increase risk for erectile dysfunction, infertility, or prostate cancer?
7. Concern at lack of teenage patients in cancer trials
8. NUS researchers discover novel protein complex with potential to combat gastric cancer
9. First cancer immunotherapy for dogs developed
10. Association found between high cholesterol and breast cancer
11. Upending a cancer dogma
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a ... second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare ... the patient payment and care experience, today ... products and services that will enhance the ... offerings. These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare ... compliant in an ever-changing environment and redefine ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: