Pathway offers new lung cancer target for developers

A newly discovered cellular flaw that appears to play a big role in promoting metastasis in relapsed lung cancer cases offers a big target for drug developers.

Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have been focused on the WNT/TCF pathway, which is also involved in colorectal cancer. Using a computer analysis of genetic information, the scientists determined that the pathway was the only one of six that were ‘hyperactive' in lung cancer tumors that metastasize. The pathway remains normal when tumors do not metastasize.

"Lung tumors are initiated by mutations in other genes, so we were surprised that a hyperactive WNT pathway would be responsible for metastasis in lung cancer," said the study's senior author, Joan Massague.

Don Nguyen, a research associate at Sloan-Kettering, says that the researchers will now focus on the pathway to find the best therapeutic approach. And he added that the biomarker should also help cancer specialists determine the best treatment protocol for patients.

- read the story from HealthDay News