The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is leading a multi-institutional effort supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to identify “molecular signatures” of lung cancer.
By evaluating changes in the pattern or “profile” of proteins expressed by lung tumors, as well as genetic mutations and other indicators, the researchers hope to find ways to diagnose lung cancer earlier and treat it more effectively.
“There is no single answer to lung cancer,” said David P. Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., Harold L. Moses Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt. “We want to take a synergistic approach where everyone benefits.”
Carbone, who directs an NCI-supported Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer at Vanderbilt, is principal investigator of the lung cancer grant, part of the NCI’s Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS) program.
The SPECS program, announced today<Nov. 28> by the NCI, funds multi-center efforts to identify molecular signatures for six kinds of cancer.
The $7 million, five-year lung cancer award supports a collaboration of 11 medical centers and two large cancer clinical trial groups to evaluate different technologies for improving diagnosis and monitoring response to therapy.
The Vanderbilt researchers, for example, are using a mass spectrometry technique to predict lymph node involvement and response of lung tumors to erlotinib (Tarceva) and standard chemotherapy, based on changes in the pattern or “profile” of proteins expressed by the tumors.
The consortium includes six lung cancer SPOREs in addition to Vanderbilt’s: UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center; the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver; Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; the
about SPECS and NCI’s Cancer Diagnosis Program, visit: http://www.cancerdiagnosis.nci.nih.gov/.
Contact: Cynthia Manley