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Genetic study opens door to individualized treatment strategies for Lung Cancer

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Brief Description:

A genetic study sheds new light on possible treatment strategies for the most common form of lung cancer.


Akinso: A genetic study sheds new light on possible treatment strategies for the most common form of lung cancer.

Ozenberger: Lung adenocarcinoma, it's a non small cell lung cancer.

Akinso: Dr. Brad Ozenberger is a Program director at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Ozenberger: About 150,000 people a year in the United States are diagnosed with it.

Akinso: A multi-institution team, part of the Tumor Sequencing Project consortium and funded by the NHGRI, charted the genetic changes involved in adenocarcinoma.

Ozenberger: Medically this study begins to show that the complexity of the disease is manageable.

Akinso: Using a systematic multi-disciplinary approach, the researchers detailed key pathways involved in the disease, and described patterns of genetic mutations among different subgroups of lung cancer patients, including smokers and never-smokers. The researchers are also using new tools and technologies to examine the complete set of DNA, or genome, found in various types of cancer.

Ozenberger: This study shows is that these technologies can reveal what's going on in these cancers. Tell us something new and that we can begin to sort out the real meaning from the genome of what's going on.

Akinso: Dr. Ozenberger says the findings should pave the way for more individualized approaches for detecting and treating the nation's leading cause of cancer deaths.

Ozenberger: So now we are going to be able as we dissect more and more cancers and understand the pieces that break the rest of the research community is going to be able to develop therapeutic strategies to fix these problems and help the cancer patients.

Akinso: In addition, the genetic findings suggest that certain lung cancer patients might benefit from chemotherapy drugs currently used to treat other types of cancer. Dr. Ozenberger believes, clearly more still remains to be discovered, and researchers have just begun to realize the tremendous potential of large-scale genomic studies. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Date: 11/14/2008

Reporter: Wally Akinso

Sound Bite: Dr. Brad Ozenberger

Topic: Lung Cancer, Adeca

Institute(s): NHGRI

This page was last reviewed on November 14, 2008 .
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