Overview

The incidence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the resulting mortality rates are both higher among African American men. Our preliminary studies show that lung cancer tissues from African American patients have high levels of fibrin deposition. Fibrin is a key component of the extracellular matrix that contributes to tumor growth and progression. Further, a rigid and dense tumor matrix significantly hinders the delivery of anticancer drugs to tumor cells and reduces the overall effectiveness of anticancer chemotherapy. We hypothesize that the presence of excessive fibrin deposits in the tumor tissue leads to poorer therapeutic outcomes in African American patients and that the use of fibrinolytic agents, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), will significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of co-delivered anticancer agents.