When cancer researchers from different disciplines work together, they gain new insights into how cancer begins and how it can be treated. HCI is committed to providing an atmosphere where ideas can be created, cultivated, and shared. Here are some examples of how HCI scientists are collaborating to accelerate progress in cancer research.... Read More
The Importance of RAS Effectors
Mutational activation of RAS genes is detected in approximately 25 percent of human cancers. However, to date, activated RAS oncoproteins remain intractable pharmacological targets. Research in the McMahon Lab focuses on the importance of RAS effectors, such as the RAF family of protein kinases and phosphoinositide 3’ (PI3’)-kinases in the aberrant physiology of cancer cells.
To do so, the lab employs genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of human cancer, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and cultures of cancer cells in combination with various genetic or pharmacological to explore how signaling pathways contribute to cancer cell initiation, progression, and response to therapy.
McMahon Lab Translational Cancer Research Program
The McMahon lab’s translational cancer research program focuses on the mechanisms underlying the development of metastatic melanoma, lung, and thyroid cancer. Although these malignancies are derived from distinct cell types, they share a striking number of common genetic alterations especially activating mutations in KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, or CTNNB1 (b-catenin).
In addition, many of these tumors display alterations in tumor suppressors such as CDKN2A, PTEN or TP53. To do this, Dr. McMahon’s laboratory works with cultured human cancer-derived cells and with genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer. Such model systems have demonstrated considerable value in the design and evaluation of new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools to treat patients with cancer.
News & Blog
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have identified a potential drug combination to treat uveal melanoma, a type of eye cancer. Lead author Amanda Truong, trainee in the McMahon Lab at HCI, explains uveal melanoma patients frequently have changes in genes called GNAQ and GNA11, which are key targets for these drugs. This study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.... Read More
Scientists Develop New Models to Accelerate Progress in Preventing Drug Resistance in Lung and Pancreas Cancers
Scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah report today the development of new models to study molecular characteristics of tumors of the lung and pancreas that are driven by mutations in a gene named NTRK1. The findings were published today in the journal Cell Reports.... Read More
At Huntsman Cancer Institute, we're committed to delivering a cancer-free frontier. Our cancer researchers are on the cutting-edge of discovery and innovation, and we're excited by what these advancements mean for melanoma prevention and treatment. Together, we're building the future we want.... Read More
Huntsman Cancer Institute's CEO, Mary Beckerle, PhD, and Senior Director of Pre-Clinical Translation, Martin McMahon, PhD, have been appointed to prominent national advisory boards within the National Institutes of Health to provide expert advice on national cancer research initiatives.... Read More
In less than three years, HCI researchers have taken an idea from concept to lab to clinical evaluation. Conan Kinsey, MD, PhD, and Martin McMahon, PhD, combined two drugs that had not been used in combination before to treat pancreatic tumors. The results were promising and they were able to move from the lab to clinical trial quickly. A clinical trial to test the safety and effect of this drug combination in pancreatic cancer is now underway at HCI and planned at other sites around the United States. ... Read More