Paul Stewart, PhD, on the Potential of Genetic Medicine Approaches in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer


The assistant member at the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Moffitt Cancer Center shared the potential implications of the findings he is presenting at the 2023 AACR annual meeting on proteomics and metabolomics.

“Genomic drivers are critically important, but in squamous cell lung cancer when there doesn't really seem to be one that really stands out like—‘Aha, we have to go after this!’—I think it's important to take into account just what the data is telling us... Using that data to test our hypotheses and drive future research because, ultimately, genomic driver or not, you're giving a patient a drug, and that drug is very often targeting a protein. Well, that protein needs to have been expressed, right? So the best way to measure those proteins and the resulting metabolites, if it's an enzyme, is through proteomics and metabolomics.”

Squamous cell lung cancer, which is a smoking-associated disease that accounts for approximately 30% of all cases of non-small cell lung cancer, remains a difficult cancer to treat. Treatment options are somewhat limited, with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy as common approaches, as well as management with angiogenesis inhibitors. But most often, surgery is undergone to treat the disease. Clinical trials and other research have been conducted, but little success in terms of identifying therapeutic targets has been achieved.

Paul Stewart, PhD, an assistant member at the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Moffitt Cancer Center, is presenting a poster entitled, “Multi-omic landscape of squamous cell lung cancer,” at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023, held April 14-19, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. It will be presented on April 19 during the session, “Metabolism and Metabolomics of Cancer.” Stewart’s presentation aims to cover his team’s research into the influence of genomic alterations on proteome-level changes in squamous cell lung cancer.

In an interview with CGTLive™’s sister publication, OncLive®, Stewart spoke about the implications of the findings for the potential of genetic medicine approaches in squamous cell lung cancer. He noted that the disease has a lack of ideal targetable genomic drivers, which makes such approaches difficult. Although, he pointed out that a transcript of delta-N p63 could be of particular interest in future research. He also emphasized that the proteomics and metabolomics-focused approaches to understanding squamous cell lung cancer detailed in his team’s poster will be important for getting a better understanding of the disease, which could in turn inform future research into new treatments.

1. Stewart P, Lui A, Welsh E, et al. Multi-omic landscape of squamous cell lung cancer. Presented at: American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting. April 14-19, 2023; in Orlando, Florida. Abstract 6029/2

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