There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). SCLC is a particularly aggressive form of tumor and is mainly treated with standardized measures. About 10% to 15% of all lung cancers are SCLC and this type of cancer tends to grow and spread at faster rate than NSCLC. In most of the cases, it is diagnosed when cancer has already spread. A study has been conducted by MedUni Vienna in Austria that has shown for the first time that different subtypes of SCLC have specific molecular characteristics and thus, the patients respond differently to cancer treatment.
The study findings were published in the journal Clinical and Translational Medicine. It has opened up new opportunities for development of personalized treatment for SCLC. The study has shown for the first time that different SCLC subtypes have specific molecular characteristics and thus, those affected respond in different ways to treatment of lung cancer. The researchers from Austria, Hungary, Brazil, Sweden and the Netherlands are highlighting that single treatment is not that effective and the treatment approaches should be tailored according to the specific molecular characteristics of the respective subtypes.
The scientists have analyzed the entire protein composition of human SCLC cell lines. They used their selected proteomic approach combined with bioinformatic analyses to achieve large-scale identification and qualification of proteins. This in turn, helps in determination of specific molecular signatures for each subtype. Study co-leader Karin Schelch from MedUni Vienna’s Department of Thoracic Surgery said, “The analytical approach we chose enabled us to quantify more than 10,000 proteins, several of which proved to be specific to a particular subtype.” “These subtype-specific proteins provide an excellent basis for the development of targeted SCLC treatment.” As conventional treatment for SCLC has reached its efficacy plateau, new personalized treatments are required for the purpose of improving lung cancer survival rates.
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