Project 1: Translational studies in lung cancer. To investigate miRNA influence on prognosis and prediction of effect of adjuvant chemotherapy in radically resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Trial (IALT), a randomized study of adjuvant chemotherapy vs. follow-up. To investigate associations of miRNAs and prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma vs. squamous cell carcinoma. To investigate if miR-21 expression is increased in EGFR mutant tumors. To investigate if miR-34a,b,c expression levels correlate with p53 status and p53 mutant tumors have reduced miR-34 expression. To investigate if let-7 has a stronger association with prognosis in wild-type K-Ras tumors. The study has been completed and published. None of the seven selected microRNAs had a significant correlation with survival or association with K-RAS or P53 mutations. Project 2: Translational studies in thymic malignancies. To study the incidence of thymomas compared to matched controls and also to assess survival patterns as well as risks of autoimmune diseases and secondary malignancies using a comprehensive population-based study. This study has been completed and published. The major findings was that younger patients have a poorer prognosis and that thymomas have a worse prognosis than matched controls. Project 3: Clinical studies in thoracic malignancies. To develop target agents that overcome resistance to EGFR TKIs, in particular, second-generation EGFR inhibitors, Met inhibitors, and HSP-90 inhibitors. Investigate novel agents in patients with advanced thymoma and thymic carcinoma. Study the tumor and surrogate markers of activity, to better identify patients who may benefit from treatment with targeted agents. Project 4: Therapeutic targets in thymic malignancies To perform CGH and RNA sequencing and exome sequencing on paraffin-embedded tumors and frozen tumors from patients with advanced thymic malignancies. To identify potential gene modifications (amplifications, translocations, mutations, etc.) that might be relevant as prognostic factors and or targets for systemic treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Investigator-Initiated Intramural Research Projects (ZIA)
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National Cancer Institute Division of Basic Sciences
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