WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Patient group EGFR Resisters and LUNGevity Foundation today announced the 2021 recipients of the first EGFR Resisters/LUNGevity Lung Cancer Research Award. This award program, driven by EGFR Resisters—a grassroots patient-led group that has 2,500+ patients and caregivers from 75+ countries—supports critical research that seeks to substantially improve outcomes for the approximately 23% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have an EGFR-positive mutation.1 In the U.S., more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with EGFR-positive lung cancer each year. The ultimate goal of this research is to transform EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer into a chronic, manageable condition.
These awards total $200,000 each for a two-year term; funds were raised by EGFR Resisters.
The 2021 awards have been presented to:
- Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Targeting drug tolerant states + DNA damage to block osimertinib resistance
Despite high tumor response rates, patients treated with EGFR targeted therapies, such as osimertinib, inevitably develop disease progression. Mechanisms of drug resistance remain incompletely understood on both a genomic and proteomic level. The objective of this project is to find new targeted treatments and drug combinations that can tackle cancer evolution and osimertinib resistance.
- Helena Yu, MD, Assistant Attending, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Molecular characterization of lineage plasticity
As a mechanism of resistance to EGFR inhibitors, cancers can change histology from adenocarcinoma to small cell or squamous cell lung cancer. Once this happens, EGFR inhibitors are no longer effective treatment; there are no strategies currently available to prevent or reverse transformation after it has occurred. Dr. Yu will use advanced molecular techniques to identify genetic changes that contribute to transformation. Understanding these genetic changes will identify biomarkers that can be utilized to develop treatments to prevent and reverse transformation.