Funded by Lloyd Family Clinical Scholar Fund
The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene mutations can be detected in about 15% of patients with lung cancers. In female lung cancer patients who have never smoked cigarettes, as many as 50% of patients have this EGFR mutation. These mutations in the EGFR gene can be different from patient to patient, but all lead to the generation of an active protein that drives cells to survive, proliferate, and become cancerous. Currently, we have efficacious drugs for some of the EGFR mutations, but many other mutations do not have an approved drug. To address this unmet need, I am leading a clinical and translational research program including multiple clinical trials aiming to bring new approvals to treat those atypical EGFR mutations lung cancers. We will collect clinical information and bio-samples (both blood and tissue) to understand why some tumors respond to a certain drug, whereas other tumors not, to characterize the landscape of resistance mechanisms for each group of EGFR mutations. We will test a number of novel drug-drug combinations to overcome resistance and provide more potential options for EGFR mutation lung cancer patients. In this program, we will take a team approach to engage investigators with different expertise, use leading-edge technologies, including computational biochemical approaches and single-cell transcriptomics analysis, and ultimately nominate future therapeutic options for patients.