Il-Jin Kim Awarded Grant to Investigate Novel Genetic Profiles in Mesothelioma
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), a leading national funder of research for this disease, has awarded Il-Jin Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Applied Genomics in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, a grant to study Novel fusion and tumor-specific isoform candidates in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), an aggressive and highly lethal cancer, with the ultimate goal of identifying therapeutic targets. The research focuses on a class of patient who lack the three most common genetic deletions (CDKN2A, NF2, and BAP1). Studying the unique genetic profile of this so-called triple-negative (TN) MPM patient population may reveal unique genetic characteristics and oncogenic fusions contributing to MPM development. The goal would be to target the aberrant cancer-inducting activity in this small group of patients with novel therapies. This is a similar approach to the identification of the EML4-ALK fusion genes in non-small cell lung cancer patients, leading to the novel therapy crizotinib, an example of 21st century precision medicine.