Dr. Roger Briesewitz/Dr. Miguel Villalona/Dr. Dehua Pei
The Ohio State University

Discovery of a K-Ras Inhibitor for
the Treatment of Lung Cancer in Women

Lung cancer is the second most common malignancy in women after breast cancer1. Although breast cancer is more prevalent, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in women, accounting for 26% of all cancer deaths

1. Over the last 30 years, the incidence of lung cancer in women has increased fourfold1. This dramatic increase has been labeled a "contemporary epidemic"

2. Much of the dramatic increase in lung cancer observed in women appears to be based on the fact that women began to smoke cigarettes in increasing numbers starting in the 1940s and peaking in the 1970s. Despite the adverse risk effect of smoking, lung cancer may also develop in men and women who have never smoked. Compared to men, women in fact appear to be at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, suggesting sex-specific differences that promote the development of the disease

3. Our current therapeutic options for the treatment of lung cancer are very limited. 72% of all women diagnosed with lung cancer will eventually succumb to the disease despite treatment1. Novel therapeutic approaches are desperately needed to improve the odds of survival. In recent years we have gained important insights into the underlying genetic aberrations that cause lung cancer. Based on these insights we may be able to develop targeted therapeutics that are directed against the cancer cells and that, ideally, have only limited detrimental effects on healthy cells.