Lung cancer progression process not limited to late stages of disease

Share this article:

A tumor-associated protein with cell-transforming properties has been identified as an attractive molecular target for the development of new therapies to prevent early-stage lung adenocarcinomas from progressing.

In a mouse model, the Rac1b protein stimulated a change in epithelial cells of the lung. The change, known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), triggered tumor development and now appears to be a key step in lung cancer progression during the earliest stages of cancer, according to lead investigator and Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, Florida) cancer biologist Derek Radisky, PhD.

Whereas normal cells recognize when they are dividing too rapidly and turn on programs that block inappropriate cell division, “here we found that early-stage lung cancer cells switch on EMT in order to bypass these controls,” Radisky explained in a Mayo Clinic statement describing the study findings, which were published in Science Translational Medicine (2012;4[142]:142ra95).

EMT requires the ability of cells and tissues to morph from one type to another and develop in an orchestrated fashion. The process is a well-recognized transition in many types of late-stage solid tumors, which use EMT to change the tumor cells into a form that can migrate through the blood. This leads Radisky and colleagues to believe that the same early-stage use of EMT they discovered in lung cancer is likely occurring in other cancers as well. Inhibiting the function of the Rac1b protein, which is expressed abundantly in stage 1 and stage 2 lung adenocarcinomas, may represent a way to prevent progression of early-stage lung cancers.

“This study offers us great new clues for a new approach to treating lung and possibly other cancers as early as possible,” stated Radisky.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

April Contest: Win a Pebble Watch

Start the contest today

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Y-90 radioembolization: A new treatment for hepatic metastases from breast cancer

Yttrium-90 radioembolization is a minimally invasive treatment that may slow disease progression in breast cancer that has metastasized to the liver.

More sensitive testing may better define prognosis and treatment for leukemia

Nearly half of patients with the most common form of adult leukemia may have a distinct pattern of genetic abnormalities that could better define their prognosis and treatment.

Doxorubicin-ifosfamide combo improves progression-free survival in soft-tissue sarcoma

A new European study does not support administration of intensified doxorubicin and ifosfamide for palliation of advanced soft tissue sarcoma.