Team Awards Navigation
After a rigorous, multi-level peer review of the submitted applications by a panel of global lung cancer experts, the 2019 GO2 Foundation – Van Auken Private Foundation Young Innovators Team Awards have been awarded to two teams of researchers developing novel strategies to treat KRAS-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and examining the impact of age on initiation, progression, and immunotherapy response in NSCLC.
The first winning proposal by Drs. Yanxiang (Jessie) Guo from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Shawn Davidson from the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University is entitled Targeting tumor metabolism to improve immunotherapy in KRAS-mutant NSCLC. Combining their expertise, the investigators will research and improve the efficacy of immunotherapy for patients bearing KRAS mutations.
Targeting tumor metabolism to improve immunotherapy in KRAS-mutant NSCLC
The research examines the interaction of tumor cells and immune cells for growth of KRAS-driven NSCLC. To date, KRAS-mutant NSCLC has been largely resistant to most treatments. In an effort to improve outcomes and the efficacy of immunotherapy for patients with KRAS mutations, Drs. Guo and Davidson examine the metabolism of different cell types in KRAS-mutant lung tumor microenvironment to determine whether their hypothesis is correct in that cancer cell metabolism deeply affects tumor microenvironment and leads to an impaired anti-tumor immune response. The investigators’ long-term goal is to implement strategies that can overcome resistance to immunotherapy in KRAS-mutant NSCLC.
The second winning proposal by Drs. Matthew Bott and Tuomas Tammela from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill-Cornell Medical College is entitled Age-related determinants of initiation, progression, and immunotherapy response in non-small cell lung cancer. Combining their expertise, the investigators will research differences in non-small cell lung cancer in young versus old individuals to suggest different approaches in managing the disease.
Age-related determinants of initiation, progression, and immunotherapy response in non-small cell lung cancer
The investigators are exploring the intersection of tumor biology, anti-tumor immunity, and aging. Specifically, their preliminary data suggest several important differences in the initiation and progression of lung cancer in young and old individuals. Further, the investigators propose that lung cancer in young and old individuals represents two distinct diseases with different natural histories and susceptibilities to therapy. If true, these findings would suggest different approaches to managing lung cancer in these two different age groups, particularly with the use of immunotherapies that require a robust immune system.