Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and has been established to produce about 1.3 million deaths per year. At the global level, this type of cancer is more frequent in men and second most frequent in women after breast cancer. There are two types of lung cancer; Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); Being the latter the most frequent type of cancer (80% of the cases). In turn, the most common types of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carinoma.
In Colombia, for 2011, the lung cancer mortality rate was 8.61 per 100,000 population, showing a tendency to increase in the period 2000-2004. The highest mortality rates are found in the Region Cafetera of the country, including the northern zone of the Valle del Cauca.
At the onset and evolution of lung cancer, the involvement of genetic and epigenetic alterations that have resulted in the deregulation of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, genes involved in DNA repair, among others, has been demonstrated. In turn, transcription factors may alter the transcriptional status of target genes involved with processes such as cell cycle, apoptosis, mesenchymal epithelial transition (EMT). Considering that cancer is one of the most difficult pathologies to detect and treat, and that during the first year of diagnosis more than 90% of patients die; It is a priority to analyze and execute research proposals in the area to improve knowledge of the disease and the most common risk factors, the most appropriate detection and the recommendation of the most appropriate treatment.
From the year 2014 the San Ignacio University Hospital, the Javerian Center of Oncology and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, formed the interdisciplinary working group: "Functional Unit of Lung Cancer". This group is made up of oncologists, pulmonologists, radiotherapists, thoracic surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, geneticists, nurses and palliatists. Its main objective is to respond in an early and efficient way to the needs of patients with lung cancer, offer the best comprehensive treatment and support, provide education, teaching and generate translational research based on the problems identified in our population. From this interdisciplinary group emerged the need to establish links with professionals dedicated to research in the area of basic sciences in order to establish a line of research directed towards the search for new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. Consequently, since 2014 our transdisciplinary research group has been working on research projects related to epigenetics and its relation to lung cancer. Specifically analyzing the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and enzyme complexes that are involved with the activation or repression of genes and / or transcription factors related to lung cancer.