It is extremely common for part of a chromosome called 3 (3p21.3) to be deleted in people with lung cancer. Those who experience this have particularly poor outcomes.
One of the genes within this is the RNA binding protein RBM5. Using our unique mouse model, we have shown that hte partial loss of this protein (to a similar level in patients) leads to a significant increase in the rate of lung cancer progression.
This provides compelling data that patients containing RBM5 deletions should be treated as particularly high-risk.
It also suggests that this protein, or the genes that controls it, may be plausible targets for the treatment of late stage lung cancer.
What is the need?
The project was undertaken so as to definitively define the role of RBM5 in lung cancer.
While several previous studies have proposed it as a market of subset of lung cancers, none have actually tested its functional role.
We have shown the loss of RBM5 function is a significant risk factor for high grade lung cancer.
What impact will this research have?
By defining the loss of an RBM5 gene is a risk factor for lung cancer in the mouse, and given the similar function between mouse and human, the same result is likely to hold true in human lung cancer.
This information will allow the patients containing a loss of the RBM5 gene to be classified into a high risk group where more aggressive treatments may be considered earlier in disease progression.
In addition, our work provides an insight into the molecular mechanism that controls lung development and function.
"This information will allow the patients containing a loss of the RBM5 gene to be classified into a high risk group where more aggressive treatments may be considered earlier in disease progression."