Alvaro Quintanal-Villalonga, PhD

Alvaro Quintanal-Villalonga, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Research Project:
Identifying Therapeutic Targets for Neuroendocrine Transformation

Grant Awarded:

  • Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • biomarkers
  • clinical research
  • combination therapies experimental therapeutics
  • computational biology
  • gene expression transcription
  • pathology
  • risk factors

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

Targeted lung cancer therapies offer improved effectiveness, side effects and survival for patients. However, most lung tumors eventually become resistant to these drugs. Some tumors (small cell lung adenocarcinoma) even transform to a different, more aggressive type (small cell lung carcinoma) that is insensitive to targeted drugs, leading to poor outcomes for patients. Our knowledge of cancer transformation is limited; to date, no therapies are available to prevent or effectively treat this transformation. We aim to use cutting-edge technologies to study tumor samples at the level of individual cells to determine what causes this transformation. We will focus on neuroendocrine transformation in lung cancer, a process where non-small cell lung cancer cells transform into neuroendocrine cells. In the lab, we will then test drugs that target this process to identify a therapy able to safely prevent tumor transformation. Our goal is to lay the groundwork for clinical trials and eventual FDA-approval for use in patients to improve survival outcomes for people with these types of lung cancers.

Page last updated: October 3, 2023

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