Mario Acunzo, PhD

Mario Acunzo, PhD

Virginia Commonwealth University

Research Project:
Using New Technologies to Examine Molecular Mechanisms of Lung Cancer Drug Resistance

Grant Awarded:

  • Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • combination therapies experimental therapeutics

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

Many human lung cancers are driven by mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. Some emergent treatments have been used successfully against EFGR, but, despite this, most patients develop resistance and succumb to the disease. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and acquired drug resistance is critical. Until now, studies have focused on the genetic mutations that drive lung cancer. At present, thanks to innovative sequencing technologies and computational tools, it is possible to more deeply investigate the molecular mechanisms that trigger lung cancer progression and drug resistance. By leveraging these modern tools, we aim to detect and study the consequences of RNA chemical modifications in lung cancer. Our goal is to identify new molecular targets and possibly new future therapies.

During this year, we conducted several tests to assess the role of a chemical modification of a small RNA on the resistance to specific drugs used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. We produced interesting preliminary data regarding the role of this small RNA modification. In the future, we intend to perform next-generation RNA sequencing and animal model experiments to learn more about the consequences of RNA chemical modifications in lung cancer.

Page last updated: June 7, 2024

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