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Mining Brain Metastasis for Answers

When lung cancer and breast cancer relapse, they often metastasize in the brain. The tumors that arise in the brain develop novel characteristics, differences that oft en confer resistance to existing drug therapies and create opportunities for new detection and treatment approaches for Yale Cancer Center researchers.

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  • Yale study examines lung cancer metastasis

    In a recent study, Yale researchers discovered a mechanism co-opted by lung cancer cells in order to spread to the brain. Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of cancer-related deaths, killing more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers worldwide, according to Don Nguyen, a professor of pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and a senior author of the study. The most frequentluy diagnosed form of lung cancer is lung adenocarcinoma, which originates in the lungs but is most dangerous after it has migrated to other parts of the body in a process known as metastasis. LUAD metastasis to the brain is often deadly and can leave survivors with heightened risk of relapse and a far lower quality of life, Nguyen said. Metastasis is one of cancer’s many “black boxes” Nguyen said, in that very little is known about the mechanisms that allow this process to take place.

    Source: Yale Daily News
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  • Limiting lung cancer’s spread and growth in the brain

    More people die of lung cancer each year than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. One particularly lethal form of the disease is lung adenocarcinoma or LUAD, which afflicts both smokers and non-smokers. In many patients diagnosed with LUAD, tumors cells have already spread to the brain, leading to decreased quality of life and low survival rates. A Yale Cancer Center research team conducted a study to determine how those tumor cells manage to grow outside the lungs.

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  • Dr. Don Nguyen awarded a Department of Defense IDEA Award

    Congratulations Dr. Don Nguyen, who was awarded a Department of Defense IDEA Award! The award provides 3 years of support for "conceptually innovative, high-risk/high-reward research.” With this award, Dr. Nguyen’s laboratory will explore how novel therapies can be used to prevent metastasis from lung cancer. Previously, Dr. Nguyen identified a gene regulator critical for breast cancer metastasis to the lung.

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