Dr. Alice Berger, a translational researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was chosen to receive the 2017 LCFA/IASLC Lori Monroe Scholarship for Translational Lung Cancer Research to advance her scientific focus on the genetics of lung cancer in women who have never smoked.
She will use the scholarship to perform genome sequencing on lung tumors found in women with no history of smoking who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The WHI, coordinated by Fred Hutchinson Cancer in Seattle, WA, is one of the largest U.S. prevention studies of its kind, involving more than 161,000 women.
Berger will conduct the research in collaboration with Dr. Garnet Anderson, principal investigator of the WHI Clinical Coordinating Center, senior vice president and director of the Public Health Sciences Division and Fred Hutch 40th Anniversary Endowed Chair.
According to Berger, previous genetic studies of lung cancer have focused mainly on tumors from people with a history of smoking; the largest study of never-smokers to date has included only 33 participants.
“In the small number of tumors from never-smokers who have been profiled, we can see that the genetic changes in never-smokers are very different from that of smokers,” said Berger, a researcher in the Hutch’s Human Biology and Public Health Sciences divisions.
“The goal of this project is to identify new potential drug targets in lung cancer and to better understand the etiology of lung cancer in patients without a smoking history,” she said.
Dr. Berger’s hope is to find more “targets” for additional personalized treatments for lung cancer. Find out more on personalized medicine for lung cancer. And, download LCFA’s Personalized Medicine Brochure.