Resistance to Chemotherapy

Identifying Molecular Mechanisms of Resistance to Standard Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer resistance to available chemotherapies poses a major challenge for the treatment of relapsing, drug refractory disease. Hence we are working towards developing biomarkers that will help predict beforehand which tumors would be resistant to standard chemotherapy and consequently identify targets for such drug resistant lung tumors.

In order to address these objectives, we are using a global approach involving both preclinical (cell lines, xenografts) and clinical models (neoadjuvant treated tumor specimens). We have developed cell line models of resistance to standard platin and taxane chemotherapy used for lung cancer treatment and are using these to identify molecular predictors of patient tumor response to therapy (in collaboration with Dr. Wistuba at MD Anderson). 

As a part of this, we have also discovered important epigenetic mechanisms and epigenetic-targeted therapy that could allow a breakthrough in developing new lung cancer treatments.  These studies are in collaboration with Hamon Center and Pharmacology Investigator Dr. Elisabeth Martinez.