Lung cancer has many forms, depending on which particular gene functions incorrectly. Our moon shot’s GEMINI project is on a mission to find these cancer-driving mutations for every subset of lung cancer patients — even those seen in only 1 or 2 percent of lung cancers. Using the latest technologies for tumor profiling, the team is finding targets and then identifying a drug that shuts down each one. Our latest discoveries, made possible through private philanthropy and federal funding, focus on a trio of lung cancer subsets characterized by mutations in a gene called KRAS. These findings have led to MD Anderson’s vital participation in a national research collaboration propelled by major funding from the Stand Up to Cancer organization.
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Finding answers in therapies for other cancers
As the Lung Cancer Moon Shot aims to find drugs that target every cancer-driving molecular aberration, using agents already approved for other cancers may speed the process. We’ve identified two leukemia drugs to test against lung cancer targets.