Origins of Small Cell Lung Cancer Subtypes Outlined

June 04, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 3 minutes

For your weekly Biotechnology news, Lab.Equipment has handpicked this interesting article from GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News for you:

About 15 percent of lung cancers are classified as small cell lung cancer. Recent studies have indicated that four major subtypes of small cell lung cancer exist, yet approaches to tailor treatment of these subtypes have not yet become standard of care.

Now, scientists outline new findings “MYC Drives Temporal Evolution of Small Cell Lung Cancer Subtypes by Reprogramming Neuroendocrine Fate”in Cancer Cell about the origins of these lung cancer subtypes, which could pave the way for a better approach to study this disease.

“Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a neuroendocrine tumor treated clinically as a single disease with poor outcomes. Distinct SCLC molecular subtypes have been defined based on expression of ASCL1, NEUROD1, POU2F3, or YAP1. Here, we use mouse and human models with a time-series single-cell transcriptome analysis to reveal that MYC drives dynamic evolution of SCLC subtypes,” write the investigators.

“In neuroendocrine cells, MYC activates Notch to dedifferentiate tumor cells, promoting a temporal shift in SCLC from ASCL1+ to NEUROD1+ to YAP1+ states. MYC alternatively promotes POU2F3+ tumors from a distinct cell type. Human SCLC exhibits intratumoral subtype heterogeneity, suggesting that this dynamic evolution occurs in patient tumors. These findings suggest that genetics, cell of origin, and tumor cell plasticity determine SCLC subtype.”

“Small cell lung cancer has historically been treated as a single disease, which has been an unsuccessful approach for most patients. Thanks to rapid advances in the field, we now understand that each type of small cell lung cancer has specific traits, including traits that may help us understand better ways to tailor treatment for patients,” said Trudy Oliver, PhD, a lung cancer researcher at Huntsman Cancer Ins... Read the complete article at the GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Blog.

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