The results showed that although there were more than 1000 mutations present in the lung cancer DNA samples, 26 of those mutated genes were significantly present in greater numbers. Looking closely, researchers and scientists were able to establish that those 26 genes are linked to lung adenocarcinoma.
Most of those genes were not previously associated with the disease. For example, researchers found that more than 70% of the 188 DNA lung cancer samples displayed at least one mutation affecting the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Based on this new finding, researchers suggest that new treatment strategies could be developed. MEK inhibitors, compounds that inhibit the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway could certainly have positive impacts on lung cancer patients.
Also, more than 30 % of the 188 samples had genetic mutations related to the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. A drug, which inhibits mTOR, currently approved for organ transplants and renal cancer, could be used for lung cancer patients.
Other new genes discovered in lung adenocarcinoma include:
*Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)
*Adenomatosis polyposis coli (APC)
Data from the Tumor Sequencing Project are complementary to The Cancer Genome Atlas project. This type of study will allow us to know more about our genetic make up and will permit the development of new therapeutic options for people afflicted with different types of cancers.