Massachusetts General Hospital
Discovering Protein's Role in Resistance to Lung Cancer Chemotherapy
Resistance to chemotherapy is a major challenge in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. Cancer cells possess the ability to amplify parts of their genome, which in turn, protects the cells from chemotherapy. We have recently discovered a protein responsible for amplifying specific regions of the genome involved in resistance. We will investigate the role of this protein, KDM4A, and how the environment present inside lung tumors, such as low oxygen, can regulate KDM4A levels. We will also determine how tumor cells respond to drugs that inhibit KDM4A regulators. Our research could identify novel therapeutic targets for treating drug-resistant non-small cell lung cancer.
Update: We have identified a network of chromatin regulators chemicals that play fundamental roles in the regulation of gene expression and chromosome maintenance that impact a cancer gene called KRAS. This mutation, currently untreatable, is amplified and mutated in non-small cell lung cancer. The discovery of chromatin regulators for KRAS will result in the identification of novel therapeutic targets, with clinical implications for lung cancer diagnosis and therapy.