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News from the Latest Issue of Molecular Medicine

New research from the bimonthly biomedical journal, Molecular Medicine. Molecular Medicine publishes research concerned with the pathogenesis of disease at the molecular level, in order to design specific molecular tools for disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

(Vocus) January 12, 2010 -- By the time a person experiences symptoms of an aggressive brain tumor it is often too late. Dr. Christina Piperi and her colleagues at the University of Athens Medical School have discovered genetic fingerprints of the glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor cell that could ultimately be used to diagnosis the tumor earlier in the disease process. They found that analyzing the methylation status helps differentiate normal and disease cells. Looking at four genes activated in glioma, they found that two of them – MGMT and RAR – were significantly more methylated in 58.8% to 70.58% of analyzed glioblastoma multiforme cases. This study also highlights a potential link between methylation patterns and a potent cytokine, IL-6, suggesting a specific role for inflammation mediators in the regulation of gene methylation. The hope is that the finding could offer clues to the aggressive nature of the tumor and point to new treatment avenues.

In another study, Stephanie L. Nott, Mesut Miyan and colleagues at the University of Rochester in upstate New York have discovered a potential treatment for endocrine resistant breast cancer tumors. It is well known that the estrogen hormone 17²-estradiol (E2), is involved in the initiation and progression of some types of breast cancer. Estrogen receptors have been used as transcription factors to mediate the effects of E2. That has been the basis for the state-of-the-art treatments for ER-positive breast cancer. But they do not work for ER-negative breast tumors. Dr. Nott and her colleagues tested the idea that they could design a transcription factor that regulates the estrogen responsive elements (EREs) of genes to stop the spread of ER-negative tumors. They used adenovirus infected ER-negative tumor cells derived from a breast adenocarcinoma. The monotransregulator repressed cell proliferation and infiltration and induced cell death by turning on genes required for the estrogen responsive elements to interact. “Specific regulation of genes bearing EREs could offer a therapeutic approach for de novo endocrine-resistant breast cancers,” the scientists said.

Enclosed is a table of contents for the latest issue. You can view all of the articles in the September-October issue by visiting the journal’s Web site at

Molecular Medicine is published by The Feinstein Institute for Molecular Research. The peer-reviewed journal strives to understand normal body functioning and disease pathogenesis at the molecular level, which may allow researchers and physician-scientists to use that knowledge in the design of specific molecular tools for disease diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention. The journal, a bimonthly publication, serves as a forum through which scientists and researchers can communicate recent discoveries to a multi-disciplinary, international audience interested in understanding and curing disease.

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