Vanderbilt study finds mechanism of lung cancer-associated mutations
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have identified how one of the genes most commonly mutated in lung cancer may promote such tumors. The investigators found that the protein encoded by this gene, called EPHA3, normally inhibits tumor formation, and that loss or mutation of the gene – as often happens in lung cancer – diminishes this tumor-suppressive effect, potentially sparking the formation of lung cancer. The findings, published July 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, could offer direction for personalizing cancer treatments and development of new therapies.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.