Research ArticleCancer

The ERBB network facilitates KRAS-driven lung tumorigenesis

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Science Translational Medicine  20 Jun 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 446, eaao2565
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2565

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A new role for kinase inhibitors

The KRAS oncogene is frequently mutated in a variety of cancer types, including lung cancer. Lung cancers with KRAS mutations are usually difficult to target, and conventional thinking dictates that these tumors are resistant to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors because those act upstream of the constitutively active KRAS protein. However, it appears that receptor tyrosine kinase signaling may have an effect on KRAS-driven lung tumors after all, by amplifying their growth beyond the effects of KRAS alone. Kruspig et al. and Moll et al. independently reached this conclusion and identified approved multi-kinase inhibitors that are effective in the setting of KRAS-mutant lung cancer in multiple mouse models, suggesting that this may be a potential treatment strategy for human patients as well.