Grants - Translational Grants - Pennsylvania - 2018

Yanis Boumber, M.D., Ph.D.

Funded by the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund

Lung cancer is the main cause of death in the world. For unknown reasons, African Americans (AA) have more aggressive lung cancer compared to Caucasians. Recently, immunotherapy demonstrated that one out of five of patents have tumor shrinkage. Long term remissions are happening in one out of seven lung cancer patients. This is very exciting, but combinations of 2 or 3 immunotherapy drugs are needed to cure more patients. 

We proposed the lung cancer treatment combination that can block tumor blood vessel growth, and boost immune system. We think that this combination approach will cure more lung cancers. We will soon start a clinical study combining two immunotherapy drugs. One out of four patients on our study will be AA. We hope to find immune or blood vessel growth related markers to help predict who would benefit from this drug combination. This can help to use the right drugs for the right patients. In this study, we also plan to investigate why AA have more aggressive lung cancer. 

In Aim 1, we will perform detailed analysis of blood proteins and white cells from the blood of patients participating in our study. In Aim 2, we will correlate genes and other markers with response to immunotherapy combination. In Aim 3, we will compare blood proteins and tissue gene levels between AA and Caucasians.