Lung cancer researchers Dr Kate Sutherland and Dr Sarah Best from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute led the research and it has been published in Nature Communications journal. They have discovered that the key to personalized or targeted therapies may be to focus on their differences. The researchers have shown that co-existing mutations can give tumor unique characteristics which then target to inhibit cancer growth. The study suggests that this tactic could be investigated for targeted treatment of KRAS-positive lung adenocarcinomas.
Dr Best said the researchers were surprised to find that co-existing mutations could play such a significant role in the characteristics of some lung cancers. Most lung cancers have a common-cancer causing mutation in the gene KRAS, which is a potent cancer driver. The researchers have shown that co-existing mutations in the cancers give tumor distinctive characteristics to successfully target the growth of cancer. They have identified that KRAS-positive lung cancer had different traits depending on co-mutations.
Targeted cancer therapies have been an explosion in the past few decades. They have transformed treatment and survival for patients with cancers. The strategies to target and block cancer-related traits work to slow down the growth of lung cancers.
“Our study suggests that a one-size-fits-all therapy would not be effective for all people with KRAS-positive lung cancers,” Dr Sutherland said. She also added, “We are confident that our models reflect what is happening in patients. And the benefit of the models is that they can be used for preclinical testing of potential therapeutics, to evaluate if they show promise for treating patients.”
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