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University's research proposes new therapeutic strategies to curb lung cancer

Both ld1 gene blockade and a combination drug strategy could benefit a subset of lung adenocarcinoma patients

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Marta Román
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17/09/20 09:00 Enrique Cobos

A research from the University of Navarra proposes ld1 gene blockade and drug combination as a personalized treatment for lung cancer patients with mutations in the KRAS gene.

Dr. Marta Román 's research has focused on the study of new therapeutic strategies -genetic and pharmacological- that could benefit patients with mutated KRAS lung adenocarcinoma. The mutation in the KRAS gene is the most frequent alteration in this subtype of lung cancer -it is present in up to 25% of patients with this disease- according to the researcher. "To date, no effective treatment has been developed for patients with KRAS mutations. Therefore, the survival of these patients is significantly shorter compared to those for whom personalized therapies are available," she adds.

This proposal - which has been developed by researcher Marta Román in her doctoral thesis - proposes, on the one hand, blocking the expression of the ld1 gene as a solution to "slow down the appearance of lung adenocarcinoma tumors subject as well as to reduce their size," says Román. The other part of proposal focuses on the combination of two drugs - which individually are already tested for clinical use - to prevent the proliferation of these cancer cells. 

Future lines of research in the field of KRAS mutated lung adenocarcinoma may be directed to "study the molecular mechanisms derived from the KRAS mutation to obtain more information from these tumor cells and identify new and effective therapeutic targets".The application of this preclinical research would open the door to "a targeted treatment specifically for KRAS tumors". 

Lung cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world and has a high mortality rate due in part to the fact that the diagnosis is made when the disease is in very advanced stages. According to the World Health Organization's data , by the year 2040 it is estimated that the number of lung cancer patients will exceed three million cases worldwide issue .