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Cellular origin of deadly brain cancer is identified
Date:7/7/2011

"This time the snap from center actually goes straight to the running back -- a la the wildcat used to perfection since 2008 by the National Football League's Miami Dolphins," Zong said, "and lo-and-behold, gliomas consistently arise in these mice. Now we are convinced that OPC is the cell type that scores for glioma and should become the focus of our defense team."

From a big picture, in addition to the potential to translate this new discovery into clinical diagnosis and treatment, the breakthrough technology should be able to determine the point of ignition in many other cancers, he said.

"It is now obvious that we really need to understand these OPCs," Zong said. "Why do they respond so drastically to these mutations? Which route do they take to become fully malignant tumor cells?"

Data provided by the project inspired a three-year, $1 million grant, awarded to the UO earlier this year, from the W.M. Keck Foundation to study glioma as an evolutionary process.

"Studying cancer in this way should not only lead to molecular diagnostics to detect the earliest emergence of any cancers, but also allow us to understand the molecular mechanisms by which initial mutant cells progressively gain advantages over normal cells," Zong said. "This type of knowledge should eventually enable us to set up multi-point tackling plan to increase the efficacy of cancer treatment."


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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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