About the Project
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Mutations in the KRAS gene are found in 20 to 25 percent of lung cancers. These cancers do not respond well to standard lung cancer treatments and are notoriously difficult to treat.
Researchers have already been developing approaches that work in two different ways:
- New drugs that specifically target biological pathways disrupted by mutant KRAS (targeted therapies)
- A new class of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors (immunotherapy) that has shown promising results in advanced lung cancer.
The Dream Team's mission
The SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team is composed of some of the best lung cancer researchers and clinicians, along with leading immunologists and experts on KRAS. Several team members have been at the forefront of developing new, targeted therapies specifically designed for KRAS-mutant lung cancers, while immunologists on the team have been leaders in developing therapies that harness the patients’ own immune system to fight cancer.
The mission of the Dream Team is to design and carry out laboratory and clinical studies to determine how to use these targeted and immune approaches together to create effective and unified treatments for patients with KRAS-mutant lung cancer.
How they will do this
The team will establish a collaborative, scientifically rigorous, multidisciplinary program that brings together the two highly promising treatment approaches of targeted therapy and immunotherapy. This combined KRAS targeted, immunotherapy approach should lead to new therapies that will markedly improve outcomes for patients.
The team has devised a three-pronged approach to create new treatments for patients with KRAS-mutant lung cancers.
- First, the researchers will identify the most effective therapies for targeting KRAS and other related biological pathways.
- Second, they will develop approaches to exploit the immune system for the treatment of KRAS-mutant lung cancers.
- Third, they will integrate targeted therapies with immunotherapies as a novel combined approach to treatment of KRAS-mutant lung cancer.