Trever Bivona, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Defining New Targeted Therapy Approach for Lung Cancer Mutation
Treatments that specifically target proteins that drive cancer growth, such as RAF, MEK, ALK, and EGFR inhibitors, are leading to improved responses in many advanced-stage lung cancer patients. However, not all patients benefit from this new targeted treatment approach. We will focus on defining a new targeted therapy approach for patients with a certain form of lung cancer caused by mutation of a gene called NF1. Recent studies have identified more than 140 different mutations in NF1 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These mutations occur in about 10 percent of NSCLC patients. Findings from our studies could lead to treatments that are more effective for the many lung cancer patients with this aggressive, NF1-mutant form of the disease.
Update: We are making substantial progress in our research project. Our research provides clarity for how NF1 mutations function to drive lung cancer. Furthermore, our initial data suggest new treatment approaches that are effective in NF1 mutant lung cancer preclinical models. These molecular treatment strategies could be translated into clinical trials in NF1 mutant lung cancer patients in the near future to improve clinical outcomes.