Claudia Benavente, PhD

Claudia Benavente, PhD

The Regents of the University of California (Irvine)

Research Project:
Harnessing the Ubiquitin System as a Therapeutic Approach in SCLC

Grant Awarded:

  • Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • biomarkers
  • combination therapies experimental therapeutics
  • immunology immunotherapy

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive and metastatic disease that represents the deadliest form of lung cancer. Despite significant effort, there is a lack of precision medicines to treat SCLC patients, who continue to rely on radiation and chemotherapy. Patients diagnosed are in desperate need of improved therapeutic options. We identified a new protein with therapeutic potential called UHRF1 that is critical for SCLC. However, there are no known inhibitors to target UHRF1. UHRF1 is a protein that is naturally tightly controlled by a cellular machinery that functions to eliminate proteins within the cell. This creates an opportunity as drugs that turn off the enzymes that regulate UHRF1 disposal have already been developed. We will exploit this natural protein-eliminating system for the treatment of SCLC. We will determine if these drugs can be used as a therapeutic intervention to stop the proliferation and metastasis of SCLC.

Page last updated: October 9, 2023

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