We are thrilled to report 11 members of our extended RETpositive family raised over $300,000 to benefit RET-positive medical research. This generous funding was achieved through 658 individual gifts which have been invested in research on RET-positive non small cell lung cancer, resulting in very exciting advances over the past year.
RETpositive partnered with the Happy Lungs Project (HLP) to fund several of the research projects. An overview of some of the advances can be seen in this 2022 Research Update with Dr. John Heymach, Chair of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, and Dr. Alexandre Reuben, Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, both with the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
While research is ongoing, RET cancers aren't typically thought to be responsive to available immune checkpoint inhibitors. Given the success of immune treatments in other cancers, there remains an unmet need for an immune treatment approach in the RET community. Dr. Reuben discusses a possible immune approach that his lab is studying that could lead to treatments for RET fusion positive cancers using T cell receptors.
Dr. Heymach’s research focuses on trying to determine the most common resistance mechanisms to existing RET inhibitors. His lab is also looking into ways in which certain RET mutations might respond better or worse to different treatments. The goals of this work will hopefully help determine new treatments to target resistance to existing RET inhibitors and best treatment strategies prior to developing resistance.