Lung cancer treatment is hampered by a lack of understanding of how the cancer becomes resistant to treatment, and how the disease spreads. We will study the function of a gene called Spns2 and investigate whether a decrease in activity of this gene causes drug resistance. Additionally, we will examine whether a combination of two FDA-approved drugs reduces lung cancer drug resistance for patients who have reduced Spns2 activity. Our hope is that these results will provide vital insights into the molecular mechanisms of lung cancer drug resistance, which will lead to more comprehensive treatments for patients with advanced lung cancer.
Update: We have found that a decrease in activity of Spns2 increased drug resistance in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. We are in the process of testing drug resistance in lung cells from mice that are deficient in this gene. We have also determined which enzymes are altered when Spns2 activity is decreased and are in the process of determining the molecular pathways through which this decreased activity occurs.