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Early stage colon cancer characterized by inactivation of gatekeeper gene
Date:9/9/2008

tutional Review Board, to examine how RUNX3 is involved in colon cancer.

"My team and I have been working on our research for the past six years, and we are extremely excited about how our research findings can be translated into practical clinical applications to help patients suffering from cancers such as bladder, breast, colon and lung," said Dr. Ito. "We certainly look forward to our continuous teamwork with our clinical colleagues in improving the lives of cancer patients,"

The body usually has a fail-safe mechanism to get rid of abnormal cells. However, this does not work when RUNX3 is not present. RUNX3 is a gene that acts as a gatekeeper and prevents the uncontrolled growth of cells that may result in cancerous tumor. Disruption of the RUNX3 gene can cause colon cancer as well as many other types of cancers, including those of the bladder, breast, colon and lung.

Said John Wong, M.D., who is Dean of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and director of Singapore's National University Cancer Institute, "Professor Ito's research offers exciting, fresh hope as it lays the groundwork for a diagnostic kit for early detection of colon cancer as well as a possible therapeutic target."

Lee Eng Hin, M.D., Executive Director of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council, said, "This is a wonderful example of world-class research being done here. As biomedical research efforts in Singapore begin to reap clinically significant outcomes, the working relationships between our scientists and hospital clinicians must be further strengthened. Not only does the success of Professor Ito's work open new doors to colon cancer treatment, it also serves as a leading example for other scientists to follow."


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Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
sciencematter@yahoo.com
858-243-1814
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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