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Gregory J. Riely, MD, PhD


Researchers Explore Novel Process for Predicting Lung Cancer Recurrence

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022

According to research presented in Molecular Cancer, a new process for identifying and targeting oncogenic cells in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been developed. The model relies on circulating tumor cells sourced from patient-derived xenograft models related to patients’ primary tumors.

“These findings show our liquid biopsy model can be a valuable tool to study and predict the risk of future recurrences and metastases after curative removal of localized lung cancer in individual patients,” noted Jussuf Kaifi, MD, of the University of Missouri, in a press release from that institution.

The study included 10 tumor tissue samples from patients with nonmetastatic NSCLC. Patient-derived xenograft models were developed by implanting the tissue samples into immunodeficient mice. Circulating tumor cells were collected from the mice as liquid biopsies and implanted into different immunodeficient mice. This process successfully created circulating tumor cell–derived xenograft models, or stable tumors, in 20% (n = 2) of tissue samples. A population regenerative alveolar epithelial type II–like cells, common to both xenografted and non-xenografted tissue samples, was identified via single-cell RNA sequencing.

Treatment sensitivity was measured following the administration of standard-of-care carboplatin/paclitaxel therapy. Although a variety of responses were observed, tumor cells were significantly more susceptible to treatment when the protein-coding gene MYC was blocked. Notably, the murine tumors were found to have a second set of proteins believed to be involved in promoting metastasis, drawing comparisons between those models and human markers of metastatic lung cancer.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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