Advances in lung cancer research announced at conference

Aug 07, 2009

Dr. Glen Weiss of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare this week announced two significant advances in treating lung cancer at an international cancer research conference.

Dr. Weiss, M.D., an Associate Investigator in TGen's Cancer and Cell Biology Division and Director of Thoracic Oncology at TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare, made both announcements at the 13th World Conference on Lung Cancer in San Francisco.

In one presentation, Dr. Weiss described research that eventually could help prevent lung cancer from spreading to the brain. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), brain metastasis is a devastating complication that occurs in as many as 1 in 4 patients. The ability to identify those at risk for developing brain metastasis may guide new therapies.

A team led by Dr. Weiss found several microRNAs, which are single-stranded that regulate how genes control cellular development - as well as several high-tech imaging characteristics - all associated with the spread of lung cancer to the brain.

The biological significance of these microRNAs are being explored, and more studies are warranted, according to the team, which was funded by the Ibis Foundation of Arizona, the TGen Foundation and the Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation.

"With additional validation, this work can lead to better techniques to predict, treat and ultimately prevent brain metastasis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer," Dr. Weiss said. "Identifying the highest-risk population for , so that informed therapeutic trials can be undertaken, could enable a paradigmatic shift in treating these patients."

The study team included researchers from: TGen; the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare's Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute; Scottsdale Medical Imaging LTD; and the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

In another presentation, Dr. Weiss discussed the release this week by Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare of results from two Phase I clinical trials for a drug called TH-302.

The two clinical trials are both evaluating the safety and effectiveness of TH-302, a drug activated in the absence of oxygen. Both clinical trials involve patients with advanced solid tumors. In one, they are treated with TH-302 in combination with other chemotherapy agents. In the other, they are treated only with TH-302, which is produced by Threshold Pharmaceuticals of Redwood City, Calif.

In the study of those treated only with TH-302, six of eight, or 75 percent, of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) "achieved stable disease or better." In the study of those treated with TH-302 in combination with other chemotherapy agents, eight of 12, or 67 percent, of patients with NSCLC "achieved stable disease or better," according to a release by Threshold and Scottsdale Healthcare. More details about the trials are available at www.shc.org/content.asp?lnavid=39.

"TH-302 is a new, novel, small molecule that is activated when cells are under conditions that lack oxygen, which is a metabolic condition characteristic of cancer cells," Dr. Weiss said. "We are excited to continue investigations with TH-302 and about the potential benefit that it might confer to people living with ."

Source: The Translational Genomics Research Institute

Explore further: No increased risk of second cancers with radiotx in pelvic CA

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Personalized medicine helps cancer patients survive

Apr 20, 2009

Cancer patients can survive longer under treatments based on their individual genetic profiles, according to a nationwide study released jointly today by Phoenix-area healthcare organizations.

New genetic techniques to combat lung cancer

Apr 25, 2008

New results on genetic techniques that are helping doctors diagnose and treat lung cancer were released today at the 1st European Lung Cancer Conference jointly organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) ...

If metastasectomy should be performed before other treatments

Oct 31, 2008

Primary HCC is a major cancer related to HBV viral infection in Asian countries, including Japan. Recently, the primary liver cancers are successfully treated by surgical resection including liver transplantation and non-surgical ...

Recommended for you

Scientists zero in on how lung cancer spreads

Dec 24, 2014

Cancer Research UK scientists have taken microscopic images revealing that the protein ties tethering cells together are severed in lung cancer cells - meaning they can break loose and spread, according to ...

Scientists identify rare cancer's genetic pathways

Dec 24, 2014

An international research team, including four Simon Fraser University scientists, has identified the "mutational landscape" of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), a rare, highly fatal form of liver cancer that disproportionately ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Aug 07, 2009
Dr. Warburg brought the "Oxygen Malfunction" to our attention in his Nobel Presentation! He even presented a list of patients CURED by his theory! He was just too early to present the "Electronic"
cause and effect of Oxygen orbits!

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.