Combining HDAC6 inhibitors with KRAS inhibitors for the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

In Europe lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the third most common cancer in women. Globally, lung cancer contributes to more cancer deaths than any other type of cancer. While we have witnessed some improvements for lung cancer patients, the outcomes and treatment options for the majority remains poor. One particular type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of all cases of lung cancer. Metabolism is the way in which our cells make energy. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells have developed very clever and efficient ways to boost their metabolism and stay alive. We have discovered that a protein called histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), plays an important role in maintaining this metabolic platform in NSCLC. Patients with NSCLC also have well defined genetic changes. One such change that is well studied in lung cancer is a protein called KRAS. Excitingly, this year, new drugs have been developed to help NSCLC patient that have changes in KRAS. We believe that using these new drugs together with drugs that stop HDAC6 from working, could prove useful for these NSCLC patients. In this project, we will also develop advanced techniques to understand how lung cancer cells use HDAC6 and KRAS to conserve energy and resist death. If we can do this, we believe we can design new ways to target lung cancer in patients.

Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Catriona Dowling
Host Institution
University of Limerick
HRCI-HRB Joint Funding Scheme