Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center Targets Lung Cancer

Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is participating in a study that may be able to target lung cancer in a far more effective manner.

Moffitt is one of 14 medical sites participating in a national study that offers advanced lung cancer patients screening of their tumors for genetic mutations.

"For many years we have known that cancer is caused by mutated genes," says  says Dr. Eric Haura, director of the Lung Comprehensive Research Center and program leader of Experimental Therapeutics. "But only in the last five years have we identified genes that not only are mutated but also are key drivers of lung cancer growth and survival. Most importantly, drugs exist that can turn off the function of these abnormal gene products (mutated proteins). So now we can match patients to drugs that have high likelihood of success."

The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium Protocol is a federally funded study coordinated by researchers at the University of Colorado. Dr. Haura is the principal investigator of the study at Moffitt.

Dr. Haura says that, despite some drug resistance, by identifying patients with the mutations and directing them to either established FDA compounds that are predicted to work or enrolling them in clinical trials for agents that are predicted to work,  patients will be able to benefit from a more personalized treatment that more effectively targets their particular cells that are causing their illness.

"This is the next step for the lung program's goals of personalized cancer therapy," Haura says.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Dr. Eric Haura, Moffitt Cancer Center

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