The PI3K pathway is a complex signaling cascade that, in concert with other signaling networks, regulates cell survival and growth. This pathway is mutated in more cancer patients than any other pathway, making it an attractive target for agents that inhibit these genetic aberrations at the molecular level.
The scientists involved in the SU2C PI3K Dream Team focus on breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, all of which frequently have mutations in a set of genes that regulate the PI3K pathway. Many drugs to inhibit this pathway have been developed and currently are in clinical trials. However, as with other “targeted” therapies, only a fraction of patients who enroll in these trials benefit.
The goal of this Dream Team is to discover approaches that predict which patients will respond positively to PI3K inhibitors. This project aims to allow clinicians to use biomarkers and imaging techniques to predict which patients will benefit from specific PI3K pathway inhibitors, leading to the development of therapeutic combinations that will hit multiple targets in the complex pathways that contribute to cancer cell growth.