Team finds more effective
treatment for lung cancer
by Jackson Smith
David R. Jones
By Catherine Wolz
may eventually be possible to make chemotherapy treatment for
non-small cell lung cancer more effective and less toxic, according
to results of a study conducted by U.Va. cancer researchers and
published in the current Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular
research team, led by Dr. David R. Jones, assistant professor
of surgery and a member of the Cancer
Centers thoracic oncology program, identified a way
of inhibiting a protein, called nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB),
which chemotherapy activates in lung tumors. Activation of this
protein helps make the lung cancers resistant to chemotherapy.
Joness research team discovered that inhibiting NF-kB
enhances the ability of chemotherapy to kill lung cancer cells
by activating the tumor cells mitochondria and death
enzymes, called caspases.
a result, lower doses of chemotherapy can be used, allowing the
patient to suffer fewer of the toxic side effects related to the
chemotherapy. Although Jones research is still in its early
stages, it may prove to be an important advance for patients with
lung cancer, the most common cancer killer worldwide.
type of cancer is often only diagnosed at a late stage, after
spreading throughout the body, and unfortunately is quite resistant
to both chemotherapy and radiation, Jones said. Our
laboratory results suggest that inhibiting the pro-survival protein
NF-kB and/or its gene products may be a new mechanism for sensitizing
tumor cells to chemotherapy.
was recognized last year by the American Association for Cancer
Research for his translational research identifying the role of
NF-kB in chemoresistance of lung cancer.
study also received funding from the National Cancer Institute
and the American Cancer Society.