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Montefiore in the News

May 29, 2014

Discovery of new gene alteration in lung cancer to be presented 

NEW YORK (May 29, 2014) – Investigators from the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, the clinical partner of the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center in New York, will present several abstracts at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Presentations include discovery of a new gene alteration that can aid in detection and treatment of certain lung cancers, insights into lung cancer patient populations impacted by HIV and evaluation of breast cancer treatments. ASCO is being held May 30 – June 3 in Chicago. 

Haiying Cheng, M.D., medical oncologist, Montefiore and assistant professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lead-author, identified amplification of RICTOR, a key component of the mTOR protein complex that regulates cell proliferation and cytoskeleton organization, as a new genomic alteration in an 18-year-old lung cancer patient who never smoked. That initial finding was further explored in a next generation sequencing database of lung cancer patients and RICTOR amplification was found in 8.2 percent (92/1,128) of cases. In 11 percent (10/92) of those cases, RICTOR amplification was the only potentially actionable target. Based on these data, RICTOR amplification may identify a new subgroup of lung cancer patients responsive to molecularly targeted therapy. The poster will be presented Tuesday, June 3 at 8:00 a.m. at E354b, Lung Cancer – Non-small Cell Metastatic section. 

“The discovery of the amplification of RICTOR is important as nearly half of lung cancers do not have a known oncogenic driver,” said Roman Perez-Soler, M.D., chairman and chief, Department of Medical Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, chief, Division of Oncology and professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology) at Einstein, deputy director of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and study co-author. “RICTOR signaling also has been suggested to play a critical role in regulating cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis in breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Consequently, we see great potential for new diagnosis and treatment opportunities and look forward to continuing our research in this area.” 

Investigators will also present their findings on the molecular characterization of lung cancer, lymphomas that occur in HIV-positive patients and breast cancer stem cells. A comprehensive list of abstracts can be found by visiting the ASCO section of the Montefiore website. Onsite, conference attendees can view a video about cutting-edge research and patient care being delivered at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care at booth # 20112. 

In addition to data presentations, numerous Montefiore fellows will be recognized by ASCO for their cancer research efforts. Rafi Kabarriti, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore, will receive a 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Grant for new therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer. Marina Shcherba, D.O., Division of Hematology, Montefiore, will receive a 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award for her study on lung cancer screening amongst HIV-positive patients. She will present her findings at poster #351 on Sunday, June 1 at 8:00 a.m. at S Hall A2, Cancer Prevention/Epidemiology section. 

Montefiore-Einstein investigators are available to speak with media about their studies as well as topics related to the ASCO meeting.