Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancers Dream Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C–American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Dream Team: Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancers

Grant Term: August 2015–January 2021

The SU2C–American Cancer Society (ACS) Lung Cancer Dream Team has established a collaborative, scientifically rigorous, multidisciplinary program that brings together two highly promising treatment approaches: targeted therapy―in this case targeting the KRAS gene―and immunotherapy. This combined approach should lead to novel treatments that will markedly improve outcomes for KRAS-mutant non-small cell lung cancer patients.

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Mutations in the KRAS gene are found in 20 to 25% of lung cancers. These cancers do not respond well to standard lung cancer treatments and are notoriously difficult to treat. Scientists are working to develop new drugs that specifically target biological pathways disrupted by the mutant KRAS gene.

The goal of the SU2C–ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team has been to develop and bring together these two highly promising therapeutic approaches of targeted therapy and immunotherapy: combining types of therapies and also working to predict which patients will benefit from the therapy.

The team is currently conducting a myriad of clinical trials, including trials combining targeted therapies called MEK inhibitors with checkpoint inhibitors. MEK inhibitors modulate overactive cellular signaling pathways while checkpoint inhibitors block the function of the PD-1 receptor, a protein on cell surfaces that inhibits normal immune response. To maximize the benefit of immunotherapy, the team is also analyzing samples from patients who have been treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The team seeks to identify ways to predict which patients are more likely to respond to immunotherapy.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C–ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C–ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.

Dream Team Members

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Julie Brahmer, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Principal Investigator

Justin Gainor, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

David Gandara, MD
University of California, Davis
Principal Investigator

Roy Herbst, MD, PhD
Yale University
Principal Investigator

John Heymach, MD, PhD
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Charles Rudin, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD
Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Principal Investigator

Andrea Ferris
LUNGevity Foundation

Jeffrey Wigbels
The Cypress Group at Morgan Stanley

Maida Broudo
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Project Manager

Lalitha Ramanathapuram
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Project Manager

Cam Anh Tran
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Project Manager

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and we need urgent action to discover new treatments that will save more lives.”

Gary Reedy, CEO
American Cancer Society


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C–ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.



Ex Vivo Profiling of PD-1 Blockade Using Organotypic Tumor Spheroid
Jenkins RW, Aref AR, Lizotte PH, et al. (2018)
Cancer Discovery 8:196-215.
Effects of Co-occurring Genomic Alterations on Outcomes in Patients with KRAS-Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Arbour KC, Jordan EJ, Kim HR, et al. (2018)
Clinical Cancer Research 24:334-340.
Ras Binder Induces a Modified Switch-II Pocket in GTP and GDP States
Gentile DR, Rathinaswamy MK, Jenkins ML, et al. (2018)
Cell Chemical Biology 24:1455-1466.


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At, you’ll find clinical trial information, answers to common questions, and a free clinical trial finder tool.




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