SU2C-American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Dream Team: Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancers


Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Chief, Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service; LJ Old Chair, Clinical Investigation, MSK Cancer Center

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Thoracic Cancers, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Pasi Janne, MD, PhD

Pasi Janne, MD, PhD
Director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Mutations in the KRAS gene are found in 20 to 25 percent of lung cancers. These cancers do not respond well to standard lung cancer treatments and are notoriously difficult to treat. Researchers have been developing new drugs that specifically target biological pathways disrupted by mutant KRAS. In addition, some drugs belonging to a newer class of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, has been approved for a number of cancers including lung cancer. 

The goal of the Dream Team has been to develop and bring together these two highly promising therapeutic approaches of targeted therapy and immunotherapy. 

The Team is currently conducting a myriad of clinical trials, including trials where they combine targeted therapies, called MEK inhibitors, with checkpoint inhibitors that are specific for the PD-1 receptor. 

To maximize the benefit of immunotherapy, the Team is also analyzing samples from patients that have been treated with this class of drugs. The Team seeks to identify ways to predict which patients are more likely respond to immunotherapy. 

Amount Of Funding:

$20 million over a three-year period


John V. Heymach, MD, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Julie R. Brahmer, MD, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Roy S. Herbst, MD PhD, Yale University
Frank McCormick, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
David R. Gandara, MD, University of California, Davis
Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Andrea Ferris, MBA
Jeffrey Wigbels, MBA