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Researchers home in on genetic signature of esophageal cancer
Date:5/18/2011

involved in malignancy.

"Our data provide direct evidence that CDK6 and CDK4 are strong predictors of poor survival, and that targeting those molecules is a viable treatment option," Godfrey said. "Although we still have more work to do, we are excited about the excellent progress in the effort to find better treatments for esophageal cancer."

The approach used by Godfrey and his team follows a classic example of another success story in cancer research. Decades ago scientists discovered that the protein HER-2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is frequently amplified in some breast cancers, causing them to become more aggressive. They reasoned that a drug was needed to effectively interfere with the HER-2 gene. That drug, known as Herceptin, was developed and then approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 and is widely used today to boost the life expectancy of thousands of women. Interestingly, some patients with EAC also take Herceptin, due to recent studies showing that HER-2 also is over-expressed in a subset of esophageal tumors.


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Contact: Leslie Orr
leslie_orr@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-5774
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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