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Polygence Scholar2024
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Ivana Ma

Class of 2026Burlingame, California

Project Portfolio

What inherited genetic mechanisms underlie familial non-small cell lung cancer?

Started Oct. 27, 2023

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Abstract or project description

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide for both men and women. Oftentimes, this can occur through the inheritance of gene mutations. When these are frequently found in families, these cases are called familial cancer syndromes. One example of a cancer with possible genetic influence is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our goal is to identify what inherited genetic mechanisms underlie familial non-small cell lung cancer. This paper will begin by looking at the epidemiology of NSCLC and then identifying the specific genes that are associated with it in families. In particular, we will look into mutations of the genes EGFR, ALK, HER2, KRAS, and p53 because of their occurrence in NSCLC cases as well as research done using genome wide association studies. We examined these genes in order to understand the specific genetic mechanisms that cause NSCLC. We did this by reviewing and interpreting the data from primary research articles. In the end, we were able to identify how EGFR, ALK, HER2, KRAS are tumor promoters, while p53 is a tumor suppressor. We also examined specific inhibitors that are available to cancer patients who are afflicted with these mutations. Using this data, we hope to inform afflicted patients and their families about their mutations, as well as potential treatment options.