Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in women, and the hormone estrogen has been shown to play a role in the growth of lung tumors.
With Masonic support, Manish Patel, D.O., part of the U’s hematology, oncology, and transplantation faculty is exploring the impact of estrogen signaling on lung cancer immunotherapy.
So far, Patel’s team has found that while immunotherapy has benefits, estrogen receptors in lung tumors might interfere with its effectiveness. They are now exploring whether a breast cancer drug that suppresses estrogen, called exemestane, might increase the potency of immunotherapy against lung cancer. Their next big step will be to launch a clinical trial that tests this combination treatment.
“Support from Minnesota Masonic Charities has allowed us to gain insight into how estrogen signaling might impact a woman’s response to lung cancer immunotherapy.”