Developing Personalized Medicine for Lung Cancer

The University of Texas Special Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer represents a unique collaboration between UT Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) both of which have outstanding strengths in lung cancer translational research.

The overarching goal of the SPORE is to develop new rationale, personalized medicine for lung cancer based on a molecular understanding of lung cancers in individual patients and using this information to select the therapy ("personalize") of each NSCLC patient's treatment.

The SPORE builds on its long 15-year productive history and incorporates recent advances made by SPORE investigators as well as those in the rapidly evolving understanding of lung cancer genomics. These include novel approaches to functionally classify lung cancer by determining precisely the tumor acquired vulnerabilities of each tumor, a new molecular classification of NSCLC related to these functional characteristics, development of tools for a CLIA certifiable molecular classification test for these categories, state of the art preclinical model systems for testing the value of these new classification schemes, and a state of the art large legacy of molecular and clinical datasets of lung cancers for retrospective analyses.

The SPORE is composed of four projects: personalized medicine for NSCLC based on molecular portraits; epidemiologic study of the role miR polymorphisrns for predicting risk of lung cancer development and recurrence; therapeutic targeting of P13K and MEK in KRAS driven lung cancer for radiosensitization and blocking metastases; therapeutic targeting of telomerase in lung cancer stem cells. In addition there are three cores: administrative (including patient advocates), molecular pathology, and biostatistics-bioinformatics.

The SPORE has some of the leading lung cancer translational investigators in the world in addition to a multidisciplinary group of clinical and laboratory scientists as well as a core of experienced patient advocates.