Genetic Tools Help Shed Light on Lung Cancer Progression
New methods are desperately needed for earlier detection of lung cancer as well as improved therapies that can eradicate the disease when it has spread. Fundamental to developing such approaches is understanding how lung tumors develop, grow and spread. We will use genetic tools to study these events using a mouse model of lung cancer that will allow us to observe changes at incredibly high resolution. This includes marking and tracing the behavior of individual tumor cells within the 3-D context of a growing lung tumor. These studies will pave the way for devising novel approaches to treat patients.
Update: We have made progress in Year 1 measuring the contribution of specific lung cell types to adenocarcinoma, a type of lung cancer. We are having success in our strategy for tracking the activity of rare cells in established tumors. We will conduct experiments that will directly measure the contribution of individual cells to tumor expansion and provide insight into how this occurs.