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'MicroRNA' could be key target for bowel cancer treatment
Date:4/14/2014

lp identify patients likely to develop aggressive bowel cancer, and who might need the most intensive treatment.

Lead author Dr Nicola Valeri, Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology and Genomics Team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

"We have shown that a specific microRNA can drive the development of bowel cancers and is a key 'worker' responsible for putting into action the instructions from many cancer-causing mutations. Patients with the highest levels of this molecule have the most difficult-to-treat cancers, and inhibiting the molecule in mice prevents tumours from growing. Although the research is at an early stage, our findings may have an important impact in the way we treat patients with bowel cancer in the future."

Professor Paul Workman, Deputy Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: "This work sheds light on the important role of microRNAs in bowel cancer and opens up a potentially exciting new avenue for cancer treatment. It also gives us a marker of disease that might prove valuable in the clinic to predict which patients have a more aggressive cancer.

"MicroRNAs play a vital role in the cells in our body, both in normal functions and in disease. We have known for a while that microRNAs are important in cancer, but their diversity of roles has meant it's been difficult to target them with drugs without causing toxic side-effects. This particular RNA has a huge advantage that might allow us to avoid this toxicity, because it is found in very low levels in normal tissue and in high levels in cancer."

Professor Owen Sansom, Deputy Director of The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute at Glasgow University, said: "This exciting work shows a single microRNA can control multiple pathways that go wrong in colon cancer and offers the hope that in the future this could be targeted in patients that have colon cancer."


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Contact: Graham Shaw
graham.shaw@icr.ac.uk
44-207-153-5380
Institute of Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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