New Way to Identify and Treat Lung Cancer

United States

A new study published in Cell Reports Medicine provides insight into identifying aggressive tumors in lung cancer patients as well as the most effective treatments. Led by researchers at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences (USU), the study shows that collective analysis of proteins and genomes may improve prognosis, treatment, and diagnostics for this lethal disease.  

The study—"Proteogenomic analysis of lung adenocarcinoma reveals tumor heterogeneity, survival determinants and therapeutically-relevant pathways”—was part of the Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes (APOLLO) network. Launched in 2016 in response to the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, APOLLO is led by USU’s Murtha Cancer Center (MCC)/Research Program (MCCRP) and is a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. HJF co-authors on the study include Anthony Soltis, Nicholas Bateman, and Xijun Zhang. 

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally and a top cause of cancer deaths in the Military Health System. The most common type of lung cancer is lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and the study involved 87 LUAD tumors from the United States. 

The research team analyzed the process through which genes (DNA) are converted to the messenger transcript (RNA) in cells to make proteins. When things go wrong during the process of making proteins, healthy cells can turn into cancer. Using whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and proteomic profiling, researchers were able to connect certain molecular features of tumors with patient survivability. These findings could help better predict a patient’s outcome and offer improved diagnostics for their treatment.  

To read the study in Cell Reports Medicine, see: