Florida cancer center gets $10.2M for lung cancer therapy research

Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt Cancer Center has received a five-year, $10.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to support research projects focused on lung cancer metabolism. 

The grant was issued to the center's lung cancer metabolism working group and will fund research across several Moffitt programs, including cancer biology and evolution, molecular medicine and immuno-oncology. 

The research initiative will involve four separate projects, all aimed at gaining a better understanding of how the disease progresses. By identifying common metabolic mechanisms across both non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, researchers hope to develop more targeted therapies. 

"Many of the driver genes mutated in lung cancer, like p53, Nrf2 and myc, are transcription factors, which are difficult to target therapeutically and have been deemed ‘undruggable,’" said Elsa Flores, PhD, principal investigator for the grant and chair of the department of molecular oncology at Moffitt. "But by learning more about the cancer metabolism and how malignant cells are rewiring their metabolic network to survive, we can develop novel therapies to target those rewired cells while preserving the integrity of normal surrounding tissues,” said Dr. Flores, who also oversees the cancer biology and evolution program. 

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