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Previously Funded Research

2023 LCRF Leading Edge Research Grant Program

Benjamin Morris, PhD

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Research Project:

Deep whole genome sequencing of circulating tumor DNA for studying evolution and therapy resistance in small cell lung cancer


While most small cell lung cancers (SCLCs) initially respond to a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, resistance often develops quickly. It is currently unknown how these cancers evolve to escape standard of care treatment. In this project, we will use cancer DNA collected from small blood draws to study how SCLC evolves following treatment. Our work will identify changes in cancer DNA and gene expression that drive resistance. We will also determine if resistant tumors are composed of one population of resistant cells or if multiple, hard to treat populations emerge after treatment to drive resistance. By identifying how SCLC cells change following initial treatment, our work will help identify new ways to better treat resistant SCLC in the clinic.