Michelle Mendoza, Ph.D.
University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute
Funded by LUNG FORCE
Stopping Lung Cancer Cell Invasion
The growth of lung cancer involves cancer cell invasion, which can lead to loss of lung function and accelerated cancer progression. Understanding how invasion is controlled is essential to improving therapeutic strategies for early-stage locally advanced tumors. Common lung cancer mutations increase their signaling, or communication, through a cell pathway called ERK. Our preliminary data show lung cancer movement is blocked when ERK signaling is blocked. We will determine the mechanism by which lung cancers gain high levels of ERK activation and how ERK promotes lung cancer invasion. We hope to identify targets for lung cancer treatment by inhibiting the ERK pathway.