Potential New Treatment Approach for Lung Tumor Maintenance
New Brunswick, NJ – According to the National Cancer Institute, more than a third of all human cancers, including a high percentage of pancreas, lung and colon cancers are driven by mutations in a family of genes known as Ras. Ras has long been considered to be a target that does not respond to cancer treating drugs, but recent research suggests new possibilities. Investigators at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey have demonstrated that targeting a metabolic dependency downstream of Ras could provide therapeutic benefit to patients with Ras-driven lung cancers.
Activation of oncogenic Ras promotes tumor growth but also activates the cellular self-cannibalization process of autophagy that recycles intracellular components to help sustain that growth. In research published in the current online edition of Cancer Discovery senior author Eileen White, associate director for basic science at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and colleagues tested the consequence of removing the autophagy gene known as ATG7 from laboratory models with non-small-cell lung cancer. Their goal was to establish if systemic genetic inactivation of autophagy would have selective anti-tumor activity against Ras-driven lung cancers while sparing most normal tissues. If so, then this would provide evidence that therapeutically targeting autophagy would be a new approach to treat these cancers. Continue>
Posted in: News Briefs | July 24, 2013
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