Lung cancer gene discovered which could lead to improved treatments

30 November 2012

Researchers have uncovered a gene that plays a part in the growth and spread of non-small cell lung cancer tumours, potentially opening up a whole host of new treatment options.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Pathology, found that in patients with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC), mutations are frequently seen in the epidermal growth receptor (EGFR) gene.

When activated, this gene can lead to the growth and development of tumours.

Lung cancer samples from patients who have had tumour resection found that many patients with EGFR mutations also showed higher than normal levels of the gene fibroblast growth factor inducible 14 (Fn14).

Scientists believe that activation of EGFR could result in increased expression and activity of the Fn14 gene.

It was also found that supression of Fn14 cuts metastasis in NSCLC,

Dr Landon J Inge said: "Our data suggest that Fn14 levels can contribute to NSCLC cell migration and invasion.

"Thus, tumor suppression through the targeting of Fn14 may prove to be a therapeutic intervention in NSCLC and other tumor types."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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