Former KL2 Scholar Finds Mitochondria's Activity in Lung Cancer May Predict Response to Treatment


UCLA's David Shackelford and colleagues have identified a new biomarker that could indicate how likely someone is to respond to treatment for lung cancer. In a test using mice, the scientists found that the level of activity of the mitochondria in lung tumor cells could potentially predict who would respond favorably to a type of drug called a complex I inhibitor, which targets mitochondrial function — and that the mitochondria activity could be tracked non-invasively using a PET scan.

The study was the first to use a noninvasive imaging technique to track the activity of mitochondria in lung tumors. Dr. Shackelford was senior author on the study, which was published in Nature. His work was supported by a KL2 Award. 

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