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Previously Funded Research

2022 LCRF and EGFR Resisters Research Grant on EGFR-Driven Lung Cancer

Jonathan Ostrem, MD, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Research Project:

Enhancing the precision of targeted therapies for EGFR-mutant lung cancer


Targeted therapies have revolutionized the treatment of many cancers, in some cases not only prolonging survival but also causing less toxicity than untargeted chemotherapies. This has been particularly true in the case of EGFR-mutant lung cancers, where inhibitors of EGFR have dramatically improved outcomes for most patients while causing only mild side effects. However, for patients whose tumors are driven by EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations, representing up to 10% of EGFR-mutant lung cancers, available targeted therapies come with substantial side effects from blocking EGFR in healthy cells and this limits their activity against the cancer. Dr. Ostrem’s research focuses on developing an approach for tumor-specific release of EGFR inhibitors to maximize their effect on cancer cells while avoiding intolerable side effects that often prevent adequate treatment of patients.