Grants - Translational Grants - California - 2018

Roger Lo, M.D., Ph.D.

RAS is a gene when mutated causes a wide variety of human cancers. However, there is no specific therapy against cancers driven by RAS mutations. Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer, and up to a third of cases are caused by RAS mutations. In this study, we propose to develop a specific therapy against RAS mutated melanoma. This therapy involves starting with one drug that optimizes the patient’s own immune system against the cancer followed by adding on a second drug that blocks an overactive cancer-causing pathway driven by mutated RAS. We will first test this therapy in animal models in order to understand the mechanisms. We will then begin to design and initiate a clinical trial to test this regimen in patients whose melanoma harbor RAS mutations. Thus, we will test the hypothesis that distinct drugs when combined in a specific sequence may have dramatic anti-cancer effects not expected of individual drugs.