Gateway Announces 3rd Annual Young Investigators Award Recipient

Gateway Announces 3rd Annual Young Investigators Award Recipient

By Sean Lechowicz at 6 Jun 2018, 13:23 PM

Dr. Kathryn C. ArbourGateway for Cancer Research is honored to partner with the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Conquer Cancer Foundation, and has renewed support for the Young Investigator Award Program. The Young Investigator Award is a research grant that supports promising physician-scientists conducting patient-centric, cutting edge clinical trials.

“Gateway’s partnership with Conquer Cancer Foundation helps us further our mission to fund the most innovative and breakthrough cancer research,” said Teresa Hall Bartels, President of Gateway for Cancer Research. “The Young Investigator Award provides funding for the future leaders of tomorrow, ushering in new advances in cancer treatment that we hope will one day lead to a cure.”

For 2018, Conquer Cancer and Gateway are proud to present the award to Dr. Kathryn C. Arbour, a third-year medical oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her research focuses on developing novel therapies for patients with KRAS mutant non‐small cell lung cancer.

The treatment of advanced non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been revolutionized in the past decade with the development of effective targeted therapies. FDA approved therapies now exist for patients with EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 mutations. Together, these mutations only account for approximately 30% of all patients with advanced NSCLC.

By contrast, mutations in another gene called KRAS occur in approximately 20% of patients with advanced NSCLC. So far, there are no targeted therapies that combat KRAS mutated tumors. The only hint of an effective targeted therapy for KRAS mutant tumors is with inhibition of a protein called MEK, which seems to be important in KRAS mutant tumors. Unfortunately, MEK only shrinks cancer in a small number of patients.

Preliminary research from Sloan Kettering shows that KRAS mutant cells become resistant to MEK inhibitors by activating a protein called FGFR-1. Dr. Arbour’s phase I clinical trial will use a combination of MEK (via the drug Trametinib) and FGFR-1 (via the drug Ponatinib) to treat people with metastatic KRAS mutant NSCLC.

Gateway is proud recognize Dr. Arbour’s dedication to the fight against cancer with this prestigious award. Her study is one of the many breakthrough clinical trials that Gateway funds worldwide that helps people living with cancer to feel better, live longer and conquer cancer TODAY!




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