Grants and Contracts Details


The precise molecular determinants expressed by tumors associated with an exceptional treatment response leading to long term patient survival are not clearly defined. As patient demographics, diet, lifestyle, genetic features and socio-economic constraints are likely to influence response to cancer therapy, it is important to determine whether exceptional survivors from a particular geographic region express a common set of tumor traits. The overarching goal of this study is to determine the molecular basis for exceptional survival of cancer patients with stage IIIB or IV lung cancer treated at the University of Kentucky. The overarching hypothesis is that the molecular determinants of tumors from exceptional survivors are distinct from those noted in the tumors from short-term survivors in the control group, and that the findings will offer molecular insights into the somatic genomic alterations that contribute to the exceptional treatment response and long-term patient survival. Our studies will determine the molecular differences between tumors from exceptional survivors and short-term survivors, using whole-exome sequencing of their tumors and matched normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells to profile somatic mutations in coding regions. Moreover, we will determine the differential expression of genes in tumors from exceptional survivors and short-term survivors by modified RNA-Seq analysis of their tumors. We will also develop and evaluate a novel bioinformatics method to discriminate somatic mutations from germline mutations based on tumor-only whole-exome sequencing data, because in many practical situations, only the tumor sample can be obtained while the paired normal sample is unavailable. This bioinformatics method will address this challenging problem. The proposed studies are novel, the clinical specimens are unique to Kentucky, and the findings will provide a regional profile of molecular differences between exceptional and short-term lung cancer survivors that will provide guidance to oncologist and molecular tumor board teams in selection of therapeutics and the overall management of advanced lung cancer.
Effective start/end date7/1/186/30/22


  • KY Lung Cancer Research Fund: $149,923.00


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