New target identified for squamous cell lung cancer

Apr 03, 2011

Scientists at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have identified a mutation in the DDR2 gene that may indicate which patients with squamous cell lung cancer will respond to dasatinib.

The findings are published in Cancer Discovery, the newest journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, debuting here at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, from April 2-6.

According to lead researcher Matthew Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, there are currently no targeted therapies for squamous cell lung cancer, which affects approximately 50,000 people annually in the United States. Meyerson estimates that DDR2 mutations would be present in lung cancers from about one to two thousand people a year in the United States.

"As a percentage of the millions of people who get cancer each year it is small, but cancer therapy is going more in the direction of personalized medicine as we learn more and more about the complicated biology of each tumor," he said.

Using standard genetic sequencing techniques, Meyerson and colleagues identified mutations in the DDR2 kinase gene in about 3 percent of squamous cell lung cancers and cell lines. Furthermore, they found that with these DDR2 responded to treatment with dasatinib. A patient whose cancer carried a DDR2 mutation also showed a clinical response to dasatinib.

"Dasatinib is an existing therapy for chronic myelogenous with a long history and a strong safety profile," said Meyerson. "The results of this study clearly encourage a clinical trial to test dasatinib in the setting of squamous cell ."

Explore further: Breast and colorectal cancers remain more aggressive in children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can cancer drugs combine forces?

Aug 16, 2007

Individuals with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are treated first with a drug known as imatinib (Gleevec), which targets the protein known to cause the cancer (BCR-ABL). If their disease returns, because BCR-ABL mutants emerge ...

Recommended for you

Rewiring cell metabolism slows colorectal cancer growth

56 minutes ago

Cancer is an unwanted experiment in progress. As the disease advances, tumor cells accumulate mutations, eventually arriving at ones that give them the insidious power to grow uncontrollably and spread. Distinguishing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.