What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women, about 28 percent of all cancer deaths. In 2010, an estimated 222,520 Americans were expected to have been diagnosed with lung cancer and 157,300 were expected to have died from their disease.1 The prognosis for lung cancer is poor – most lung cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced cancer and only 16 percent of patients will survive for five years after their diagnosis. TCGA researchers are studying the most common type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancers. Specifically, the subtypes being studied are called lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma. View additional information on lung cancer.
What have The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers learned about lung squamous cell carcinoma?
TCGA researchers have:
- Identified promising therapeutic targets in lung squamous cell carcinoma, such as
- Three families of tyrosine kinases, frequently mutated enzymes that act as on or off switches for many cellular functions
- Two gene families called ERBBs and FGFRs, both of which provide instructions for making growth factor receptors, which are key for cell growth and division
- A family of kinases called JAKs, important components in a pathway that regulates DNA transcription
- Found that important tumor suppressor genes are altered in a majority of tumors
- TP53 was altered in 90 percent and CDKN2A was inactivated in 72 percent of tumor samples
- Established the presence of inactivating mutations in HLAA, a gene that normally helps the body watch out for mutated cells
- Supported previous research which had distinguished four subtypes of lung squamous cell carcinoma and further described them
Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Network’s studies or studies using TCGA data?
Where can I find clinical trials to treat lung cancers that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?
1American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2010. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2010.