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SU2C-American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Dream Team: Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancers

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Co-leader

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD

Chief, Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service
LJ Old Chair, Clinical Investigation, MSK Cancer Center

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, MMSc
Co-leader

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, MMSc

Director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Justin F. Gainor, MD
Co-Leader

Justin F. Gainor, MD

Director, Center for Thoracic Cancers
Director of Targeted Immunotherapy
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Overview

Mutations in the KRAS gene are found in 20 to 25 percent of lung cancers. These cancers do not respond well to standard lung cancer treatments and are notoriously difficult to treat. Researchers have been developing new drugs that specifically target biological pathways disrupted by mutant KRAS. In addition, some drugs belonging to a newer class of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, has been approved for a number of cancers including lung cancer.

The Team is currently conducting a myriad of clinical trials, including trials where they combine targeted therapies, called MEK inhibitors, with checkpoint inhibitors that are specific for the PD-1 receptor.

The goal of the Dream Team has been to develop and bring together these two highly promising therapeutic approaches of targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

To maximize the benefit of immunotherapy, the Team is also analyzing samples from patients that have been treated with this class of drugs. The Team seeks to identify ways to predict which patients are more likely respond to immunotherapy.

Amount of Funding

$20 million over a three-year period

Principals

  • John V. Heymach, MD, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Julie R. Brahmer, MD, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
  • Roy S. Herbst, MD PhD, Yale University
  • Frank McCormick, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • David R. Gandara, MD, University of California, Davis
  • Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Advocates

  • Andrea Ferris, MBA
  • Jeffrey Wigbels, MBA