According to the American Lung Association, Trever Bivona, MD, PhD, and other scientists have been working on improving survival and altering lung cancer treatment using gene sequencing.
Basic information about lung cancer
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer for both men and women in the United States, mainly because it is difficult to find in the early stages of its development. It is often caused by when we breathe, or are exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Our lung cells change uncontrollably and cluster together to form growths (tumors). Smoking, gene factors, particle pollution, radon, or hazardous chemicals are attributed to causing lung cancer, as well.
Significant breakthrough in research for lung cancer
With the help of other researchers and funding from the American Lung Association, Dr. Bivona has been focusing on lung cancers associated with the EGFR gene. Dr. Bivona’s goal in research is to transform lung cancer from a fatal to a curable disease, using genomics to diagnose patients.
Recently, they found that they could block the gene from forming mutations when treating this gene with the drug called, erlotinib (Tarceva); however, the gene eventually becomes immune and resistant to the drug.
There latest and current discovery was that the most predominate gene involved in resisting drug therapy was AXL. The AXL gene allows the EGFR gene to mutate, causing more cancer growth, while resisting the erlotinib treatment. This most promising, significant breakthrough in research for lung cancer is now making the AXL gene as the new target for a potential cure.
Along with Dr. Bivona and his team of researchers, studies on the development of a new drug to target AXL will also receive additional support. Dr. Kevan Shokat, chair of the UCSF Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator will collaborate with Dr. Bivona and his group of researchers and grants will be provided from the American Lung Association to accelerate finding and testing new medicine.
Did you enjoy this article? Receive FREE email alerts when new articles are available. Click on the "Subscribe" button by George's picture, input your email address, and receive future updates of George Zapo's editorials.
You can read more of George Zapo’s articles pertaining to public, global, and environmental health at his website. Click on the following link and sign up for email updates at George's website, as well: Healthy Habits.