UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Synthetic lethality in lung cancer and translation to clinical therapies Leung, Ada W. Y.; de Silva, Tanya; Bally, Marcel B.; Lockwood, William W.


Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease consisting of multiple histological subtypes each driven by unique genetic alterations. Despite the development of targeted therapies that inhibit the oncogenic mutations driving a subset of lung cancer cases, there is a paucity of effective treatments for the majority of lung cancer patients and new strategies are urgently needed. In recent years, the concept of synthetic lethality has been established as an effective approach for discovering novel cancer-specific targets as well as a method to improve the efficacy of existing drugs which provide partial but insufficient benefits for patients. In this review, we discuss the concept of synthetic lethality, the various types of synthetic lethal interactions in the context of oncology and the approaches used to identify these interactions, including recent advances that have transformed the ability to discover novel synthetic lethal combinations on a global scale. Lastly, we describe the specific synthetic lethal interactions identified in lung cancer to date and explore the pharmacological challenges and considerations in translating these discoveries to the clinic.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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