Lu Wang, PhD is an assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University. What he and his colleagues have discovered is extremely hopeful for aggressive lung cancer.
Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified and described a new gene that is responsible for activating an aggressive subtype of small-cell lung cancer, the P subtype, for which there is no current effective treatment. The findings have been published in a research article in Science Advances. (science.org)
Small-cell lung cancer is resistant to a lot of drugs and there have not been many studies focusing on it. Chemotherapy is used and patients become chemo resistant. This impacts the overall efficacy of the limited available treatment options and leads to cancer reoccurrence.
The gene these scientists have identified is called POU2AF2 based on the novel functions reported in their new paper. They hope to develop a more personalized approach to small-cell lung cancer clinical treatment by targeting mechanisms that contribute to tumor growth. Scientists plan to develop a drug to disrupt the function of the gene to treat this subtype of lung cancer in patients.
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Co-first authors of the study included Aileen Patricia Szczepanski, PhD, and Natsumi Tsuboyama, PhD; and co-authors Jun Watanabe, MD; and Dr. Rintaro Hashizume, MD, PhD