New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
January 31, 2012
Targeted therapy may effectively treat new subset of lung cancers

Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘04-‘05) of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Pierre P. Massion, MD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘03-‘08) of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, and colleagues, reported the role of the ROS1 gene in certain non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). 1 to 2 percent of NSCLC tumors have mutations in ROS1.  Importantly, the researchers demonstrated that these ROS1-mutated tumors can be treated with the recently approved drug crizotinib, which also inhibits the growth of tumors containing mutations in the ALK gene. These findings were demonstrated in vitro in cell lines, as well as in a single patient who displayed tumor shrinkage with a near complete response following crizotinib treatment. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.