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Research study aims to understand inherited lung cancer gene

PR Newswire

INHERIT EGFR study expands to second site

SAN CARLOS, Calif., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new research study, funded by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), is aiming to understand how an inherited gene in some lung cancer patients could serve as an early detection screening for family members.

"We're hoping this study provides new insight for methods to screen for lung cancer in people who might not have otherwise qualified for screening: the family members of lung cancer patients," said Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. "And we also hope to show that lung cancer doesn't just affect people who smoke."

The INHERIT (Investigating Hereditary Risk from T790M) research study, facilitated by the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), is the first to apply inherited familial genetics – widely used to assess risk for breast and colon cancer – to provide insight into lung cancer. Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard and a team of physicians at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston, MA are leading the INHERIT study to understand whether the presence of the T790M gene mutation in lung cancers is associated with an inherited gene alteration. Oxnard's team will also examine whether having the inherited form of T790M raises the risk of lung cancer in patients and families. The ALCMI study was launched at Dana-Farber and has now expanded to include Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tenn.  No travel is required to participate.

"This is the first time we are using cancer genetics to offer insight into inherited familial genetics. For breast cancer or colon cancer, it is patients with a family history that get evaluated for inherited mutations in cancer risk genes," said Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, the lead researcher on the study. "For lung cancer, we propose that it is patients with specific genetic subtypes of lung cancer, those carrying the EGFR T790M mutation, that need to be evaluated for an inherited mutation in their family."

Ultimately, the study aims to identify individuals and families who may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer so they can work with their physicians to reduce and manage that risk. Understanding lung cancer's underlying biology in high-risk families could also provide unique insight into why the disease develops and determine whether "germline" (inherited) factors may partly explain lung cancer in individuals without apparent carcinogenic association.

"We are funding this study because of our patient first commitment," Addario said, "and with the hope to raise awareness that the risk for lung cancer exists regardless of smoking history. In 2013 alone, 34,000 people who never smoked will be diagnosed with lung cancer. That population of cancer patients, isolated, would represent the seventh leading cancer in the U.S."

The INHERIT study is offered through Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and soon at other ALCMI member institutions in the United States and Europe. It is led by Geoffrey Oxnard, MD at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.  Dana-Farber and Vanderbilt are National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers.  

This study is also funded by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

View video on T790 mutation research at
Contact Dr. Oxnard at 617-632-6049, 

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $10 million for lung cancer research and patient services.

About the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute
The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) is a patient-founded, patient-focused 501c(3) non-profit research consortium established in 2008 that directly facilitates basic and clinical research to accelerate the discovery and delivery of advancements to patients.  By bringing together a world-class team of scientists and clinicians from over 20 academic and community medical centers in the U.S. and Europe, ALCMI has rapidly established a critical mass of expertise and dedicated research infrastructures linked together through centrally coordinated research. 

SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

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