John H. Bushweller, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia, Program Leader at UVA Cancer Center. In this video, he speaks about Surprise Discovery Suggests New Treatment for Deadly Lung Cancer.
An unexpected discovery at the University of Virginia Cancer Center has enabled scientists to prevent the progression of small-cell lung cancer in lab mice, and the surprising finding may pave the way for a new therapeutic method in humans.
The researchers, led by UVA's Kwon-Sik Park and John H. Bushweller, wanted to know how a mutation in the EP300 gene contributes to the creation of small-cell lung cancer tumors. Their research discovered that the gene produces a protein with unusual features that can both promote and prevent the development of small-cell lung cancer. The researchers were able to halt the cancer from growing and spreading by stopping the gene from working as a tumor promoter. This was true for cell samples as well as lab mice.
The protein's critical function in tumor growth makes it an appealing target for researchers looking to create novel treatments for small-cell lung cancer, a particularly lethal type of cancer. The overall five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with the condition is only around 7%.