David Shackelford, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Funded in Partnership with the Bonnie J. Addario Foundation
Selectively Targeting Metabolic Needs Unique to Lung Cancer
Many women with lung cancer bear mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene that drives cancer. For the majority of women with EGFR mutant lung tumors, the initial response to treatment that targets the mutation is temporary, eventually developing a resistance to the treatment. We are testing drugs that inhibit the tumor's ability to metabolize nutrients such as glucose and amino acids. The restriction of metabolism causes an energetic crisis in the tumor cells and kills the cancer cells while preserving the health of the normal surrounding tissue. We will tailor precise therapies to inhibit tumor cell metabolism and growth. This approach represents a new strategy for the treatment of this disease as we move toward developing personalized therapeutic strategies that selectively target the metabolic needs unique to the patient's lung tumor(s) as a novel way of overcoming therapy resistance.