On the search for new approaches to cure lung cancer

Protein kinases regulate nearly all processes in cells. If the function of these enzymes is disrupted, often cancer will develop. In particular certain types of deregulated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are believed to be the cause of various types of cancer. In his new research project, cellular biologist Professor Krishnaraj Rajalingam of the University Medical Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) intends to dissect on the molecular level how disturbed MAPKs lead to the generation of tumors. Based on this knowledge, researchers may be able to develop substances that inhibit the activity of these deregulated protein kinases. The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung is funding this research project to the tune of some EUR 580,000.

Every year, 1.6 to 1.8 million people around the world develop lung cancer. In men, lung cancer is the most frequent cause of death from cancer in the world. In Germany, it is the third most common cancer. Smoking is the greatest risk factor. The earlier that lung cancer is diagnosed, the greater is the chance of recovery.

Professor Krishnaraj Rajalingam, who is originally from India, and his team have been able to demonstrate that the concentration of certain MAPKs in the tissue of so-called non-small


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