Ite Laird-Offringa, PhD
University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center
Epigenetic Alterations During Progression from Atypical Adenomatous Hyperplasia to Bronchioalveolar Carcinoma and Lung Adenocarcinoma
The Laird-Offringa laboratory is focused on identifying changes in the genetic material (DNA) of lung cancer cells, to help us understand how lung cancer develops, and to use as markers for early detection. In cancer cells, DNA methylation is now recognized as a key molecular mechanism for the inactivation of so-called “tumor suppressor genes.” The pattern of methylation could provide important insights into the changes that lead to a particular kind of cancer, and could yield powerful biomarkers that may help the detection of different kinds of cancer, including lung cancer.
Dr. Laird-Offringa was able to greatly expand the tumor samples used for analysis, identifying several sites of increased methylation associated with adenocarcinoma and/or BAC, and potentially correlated to disease progression. Thus far, the sites have not correlated with differences in survival.
Dr. Laird-Offringa was awarded over $1 million from the National Cancer Institute to continue work on this project.