correcting genetic alterations to treat lung cancer
Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG), Spain
1,79 million people die of lung cancer each year, making it the leading cause of cancer death in the world. It has a mortality rate of over 85 %, which is mainly due to its late diagnosis and the lack of effective therapies.
At the genetic level, lung cancer is linked to problems with alternative splicing (AS), a key mechanism that regulates gene expression. The researchers have identified one specific AS pathway that is frequently altered in oncological patients, and that promotes cancer cell growth.
They have developed a means of correcting this pathological AS, and have managed to reduce tumor growth rate and increase overall survival in mouse models. They will now mature their proof of concept studies to advance toward medical application.