Newswise — Yale Cancer Center will join a group of prominent cancer research and treatment institutions in a new Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) – American Cancer Society $20 million Dream Team to combat lung cancer.

This is the second SU2C Dream Team project announced in the past week involving Yale University. The other is a multi-center team co-led by Yale to treat metastatic melanoma. Both projects entail applying the latest practices in targeted therapy to treat advanced cancer based on specific genetic mutations. In the lung cancer project, “Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancer,” researchers will focus on non-small cell lung cancer with mutations in the KRAS gene, a scenario that accounts for 20-25 percent of lung cancer cases. Teams from participating institutions will apply what they know and learn about KRAS mutations to test which targeted therapies and immune therapies will work best to kill lung cancer cells.

“The two most exciting frontiers right now in cancer are targeted therapy, also called precision medicine, and immunotherapy. This project is one of the few large national endeavors using both,” said Yale team leader Roy. S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Ensign Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology; and chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. “Yale brings considerable expertise in basic and translational science to the team, and we’re excited to join the effort against this difficult cancer.”

“This Dream Team is an unrivaled group of experts on KRAS and immunological therapeutic approaches,” said Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, president and CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “They have been at the forefront of developing new, targeted therapies specifically designed for KRAS mutant lung cancers and ways to harness the patients’ own immune system to fight cancer. We are confident that their approach will lead to novel therapies that will markedly improve outcomes for patients with KRAS mutant lung cancer.”

The team from Yale includes Lieping Chen, MD; Richard Flavell; David Rimm, MD; Kurt Schalper, MD; and Edward Kaftan.

Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.