Yanis Boumber Receives R21 Grant From National Cancer Institute to Study Drug Resistance in Lung Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (August 29, 2018)—Yanis Boumber, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology, has been awarded a R21 grant from the National Cancer Institute to support research on non-small cell lung cancer. He will receive a total of $438,000 over two years from the Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program.

The goal of the funded studies will be to understand how the protein Musashi-2 (MSI2) affects the resistance of non-small cell lung cancers to inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinases. Additionally, Boumber’s lab will evaluate the therapeutic effect of combining novel small molecule MSI2 inhibitors with EGFR inhibitors.

MSI2 is an RNA-binding protein that regulates mRNA translation, and has previously been shown to have dysregulated function in leukemias. In previous research Boumber determined that MSI2 expression is significantly elevated during tumor progression, and predicts poor patient outcomes.

“This new grant will enable us to build upon our studies of MSI2 regulation of EGFR and HER2 signaling with preclinical studies to assess the importance of targeting MSI2 together with EGFR and HER2 signaling pathways,” said Boumber.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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