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Research Programs

Clinical-based Research

Lung Cancer

Program Leadership

Lung Cancer Program


Lung-cancer mutation (L858R) shown in complex with front-line drug Iressa.

The DF/HCC Lung Cancer Program conducts innovative population-based research on the causes and pathogenesis of lung cancer, focusing on discoveries about pathogenesis and using these discoveries to develop novel therapies for both prevention and treatment. These discoveries will also foster breakthrough research in host susceptibility, exposure to pulmonary carcinogens, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of lung cancer.

The Lung Cancer Program has expertise in the common thoracic malignancies, including small-cell lung cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer, and mesothelioma; smoking cessation; genetic susceptibility to tobacco smoke; genetic changes in lung cancer; mRNA expression patterns; preclinical modeling of novel therapeutic approaches; clinical trials of novel therapies; and outcomes. This clinical-based program has approximately 30 clinical studies open each year and averages more than 200 patients accrued yearly.

Specific aims for the next five years are to:  

  • Identify germline polymorphisms and determine their role in the susceptibility and pathogenesis of lung cancer
  • Define pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development of lung cancer
  • Exploit the discoveries in pathogenesis to develop novel therapeutic approaches to thoracic malignancies.