Project title: Novel Therapeutic Vulnerabilities in Cervical Neuroendocrine Carcinoma

Haider S. Mahdi, MD UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

Haider S. Mahdi, MD
  • Status: Active
  • Year(s): 2023
  • Grant Type: Pilot
  • Research Type: Basic
  • Primary Tumor Site: Other
  • Area of Inquiry: Identify novel therapeutic targets

What critical NET problem/question will researchers try to answer?

Dr. Mahdi and his team will investigate therapeutic resistance and identify novel therapeutic targets in high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma of gynecologic origin (primarily of cervix origin).

Why is this important?

High-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) of the cervix (Cx) is rare and highly aggressive. Small cell NEC of the cervix represents the most common neuroendocrine subtype. Patients with NEC-Cx are more likely to present with metastatic disease resulting in a poor prognosis with a 5-year survival of 36% for early-stage disease and <10% for patients with advanced-stage disease. No prospective data are available to guide therapy in these patients. Treatment recommendations are often extrapolated from their counterpart, small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCLC). Recently, Dr. Mahdi and his team investigated the genomic and transcriptomic profile of patients with NEC of gynecologic origin. Our comprehensive genomic analyses unveiled that they harbor a distinct molecular profile compared to small-cell lung cancer. Therefore, there is unmet need to identify new therapeutic options to improve the outcome of these women diagnosed with such an aggressive cancer.

What will the researchers do?

The team will investigate novel therapeutic approaches and targets in preclinical models of small and large cell carcinoma of gynecologic origin (primarily of cervix origin) and understand mechanism of synergy and therapeutic resistance. The researcher and his team will assess the efficacy of targeted therapy approach as monotherapy and in combination in these preclinical models.

Additional Details

  • City: Pittsburgh
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Country: United States
  • Sponsor: The Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancers


NETRF funds laboratory research to understand the development of neuroendocrine tumors and translational research to explore new concepts in treatment. Research grant descriptions and research updates from NETRF are not intended to serve as medical advice. It can take years for research discoveries to be fully validated and approved for patient care. Always consult your health care providers about your treatment options.

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