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Mayo Clinic identifies treatment target for liver cancer recurrence and survival
Date:4/10/2008

These findings were confirmed in mouse models.

This discovery indicates if scientists can decrease the levels or activity of SULF2 in a tumor, they might be able to stop its development. Mayo researchers are exploring use of an agent that mimics heparin and inhibits SULF2. They are also examining whether preventing heparin sulfate synthesis would inhibit tumor growth.

If something has a very broad effect on signaling by growth factors, it may lead to an effective treatment, says Jinping Lai, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo oncology researcher and the lead author of the study. SULF2 has a number of characteristics that make it an attractive target, such as the fact that it is widely present in tumors. We are exploring a number of options with SULF2 as a focal point for treatment not only in liver cancer, but also in head and neck, pancreas, breast and other types of cancer.

The researchers hope to identify drugs that block SULF2, and seek to thoroughly understand the mechanisms involved, including the determination of what other growth signaling pathways are affected by SULF2. They are also looking further at GPC3 as a potential biomarker for liver cancer or as a possible therapeutic target.

In 2007, Dr. Lai presented information at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on the role of SULF2 in survival of patients with head and neck cancer -- the first concrete link to survival of patients with a specific tumor type.


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Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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