Researchers discover new vulnerability in deadly form of lung cancer
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IMAGE: Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis and his lab have discovered a potential new treatment option for small cell lung cancer. view more 

Credit: UT Southwestern

DALLAS – June 28, 2018 – Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have discovered a new metabolic vulnerability in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that can be targeted by existing drug therapies.

View video: Small Cell Lung Cancer: Discovering New Metabolic Pathways

SCLC is a deadly and aggressive form of lung cancer with few therapeutic options and an incredibly low five-year survival rate of 5 percent. Researchers at CRI believe the key to finding new therapies for this disease lies in better understanding the metabolism of SCLC.

Cancerous cells reprogram their metabolic pathways to grow and spread rapidly through the body. In some forms of cancer, cancer cells become highly dependent or “addicted” to specific metabolic pathways as a result of genetic mutations. Identifying these pathways can lead to new treatment options.

“SCLC metabolism has not previously been studied in-depth,” said Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Professor at CRI and Director of CRI’s Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program. “If we identify the metabolic pathways SCLC uses to grow and spread, then

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