Get ready for an exciting announcement for the melanoma community

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Targeting EGFR in NF1 mutant melanoma

Milad Ibrahim

Mentor Iman Osman, MD
Award Type Resident Fellow Award
Institution New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Donor Support In honor of Richard Draeger
Melanoma can be classified according to TCGA into 4 genetic subtypes: BRAF, NRAS, NF1 mutants or triple wild type. A lot of research focused on BRAF and NRAS mutant melanoma and limited research was focused on understanding NF1 mutant melanoma despite having worse prognosis compared to all other melanoma subtypes. Our preliminary results from analyzing 33 melanoma cell lines that were isolated from patients, identified EGFR to be upregulated in NF1 mutant melanoma. Moreover, testing independent patients for their EGFR expression by histochemical analysis  showed similar results. This is a novel finding as EGFR is target in other cancer types like colorectal and lung cancer but not in melanoma. Our proposal aims at understanding the mechanism by which NF1 loss leads to EGFR activation and test if EGFR inhibition will prove a successful approach to be used as a treatment for NF1 mutant melanoma. This can lead to a fast transition to clinical use as EGFR inhibitors are already available and are used to treat other cancer types.