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Yale SPORE in Lung Cancer

The Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer grant supports multidisciplinary research that extends from the laboratory bench to cancer patients in need. The Yale SPORE in Lung Cancer is the result of an $11 million grant from the National Cancer Institute in an effort to harness the strengths of academic cancer centers by bringing together experts in oncology, immunobiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, pathology, epidemiology, and addiction science to collaborate on projects focused on non-small cell lung cancer, one of the world’s most prevalent and lethal forms of cancer.

Dr. Roy Herbst and Dr. Katerina Politi are the principal investigators of the multi-faceted project. The SPORE in Lung Cancer focus on three primary projects during the current funding period (2020-2025). Each project includes a clinical trial to further evaluate the research, and translate it from the lab to the clinic. The first project analyzes the immune suppressor capabilities of Siglec-15 and the potential success of the Siglec-15 inhibition in patients with lung cancer with the development of predictive biomarkers (Drs Chen, Herbst, Rimm and Gettinger). The second project evaluates approaches to prevent tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance in EGFR-mutant lung cancer (Drs. Politi, Goldberg, and Lemmon). The third project targets lung cancer metastasis and drug resistance in the central nervous system (Drs. Nguyen, Patel, and Chiang). The SPORE also works to identify new translational research avenues, and train young physician-researchers for careers in lung cancer.

Yale is one of five institutions in the country with a SPORE devoted to lung cancer and one of 13 institutions to house more than one SPORE. Yale also hosts two other SPORE programs Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer and Yale Head and Neck SPORE.

The only way to approach a problem as big as lung cancer is to have experts in basic, translational, and clinical research working on several fronts taking the research from the lab to the clinic and back again to develop even newer insights. This effort represents tremendous teamwork by investigators to combat this very common and all-too-fatal disease.

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD