Linda Van Aelst, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Seeking Treatment to Stop Spread of Lung Adenocarcinoma
Lung Cancer Discovery Award
Funded in partnership by the American Lung Association of the Northeast
Detection of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) is difficult and most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. Cancerous cells frequently metastasize, so that even when the tumor is removed from the lung, patients quickly relapse as the cancer spreads. These facts suggest that tumor cells seed distant organs prior to diagnosis or initial treatment. Therefore, effective treatments must target metastases. Little is known about how this process occurs. We have established an animal model for metastatic lung ADC that will allow us to identify and characterize the genes that drive growth of metastatic lung ADC tumors. Screening these potential drug targets against patient data will confirm which of these genes are clinically important.
Update: Over the past year, we have made significant progress toward the identification of genes associated with organ-specific lung ADC metastasis. We developed novel animal model systems that we are using to study organ-specific lung ADC metastases. These model systems allowed us to initiate genetic screens, which revealed genes that likely are involved in lung ADC metastatic cells that spread to the brain and bone.
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