Family matters: How MYC family oncogenes impact small cell lung cancer

Cell Cycle. 2017 Aug 18;16(16):1489-1498. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2017.1339849. Epub 2017 Jul 24.


Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the most deadly cancers and currently lacks effective targeted treatment options. Recent advances in the molecular characterization of SCLC has provided novel insight into the biology of this disease and raises hope for a paradigm shift in the treatment of SCLC. We and others have identified activation of MYC as a driver of susceptibility to Aurora kinase inhibition in SCLC cells and tumors that translates into a therapeutic option for the targeted treatment of MYC-driven SCLC. While MYC shares major features with its paralogs MYCN and MYCL, the sensitivity to Aurora kinase inhibitors is unique for MYC-driven SCLC. In this review, we will compare the distinct molecular features of the 3 MYC family members and address the potential implications for targeted therapy of SCLC.

Keywords: GEMM; MYC; MYCL; MYCN; SCLC; mouse models; small cell lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oncogenes*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / genetics*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc