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HomeLifestyleStudy decodes how one type of lung cancer transforms into another

Study decodes how one type of lung cancer transforms into another

New York, February 9 (IANS): A team of American researchers has discovered how one type of lung cancer transforms into another type of cancer.

Lung tumors called adenocarcinomas sometimes respond to initially effective treatments by transforming into a much more aggressive small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that spreads quickly and has few treatment options.

Researchers at Weill Cornell University developed a mouse model that illuminates this problematic process, known as histological transformation.

The findings, published in the journal Science, advance the understanding of how mutated genes can trigger cancer progression and suggest targets for more effective treatments.

The researchers found that during the transition from lung adenocarcinoma to SCLC, the mutated cells appeared to undergo a change in cellular identity through an intermediate state similar to stem cells, which facilitated transformation.

“It is very difficult to study this process in human patients. So my goal was to discover the mechanism underlying the transformation of lung adenocarcinoma to small cell lung cancer in a mouse model,” said senior author Dr. Eric Gardner, a postdoctoral fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine.

SCLC occurs most frequently in heavy smokers, but this type of tumor also develops in a significant number of patients with lung adenocarcinomas, particularly after treatment with therapies targeting a protein called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), that promotes tumor growth.

“It is well known that cancer cells continue to evolve, especially to escape the pressure of effective treatments,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, a varsity professor.

“This study shows how new technologies, including the detection of molecular characteristics of individual cancer cells, combined with computer analysis of the data, can represent dramatic and complex events in the evolution of lethal cancers, exposing new targets for therapeutic attack . ,” he said

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