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OHSU Cancer Institute researchers discover key gene involvement in cancer development

PORTLAND, Ore. Oregon Health & Science University researchers have identified a gene that is necessary in eliminating cancer cells.

This finding is important because expression of this gene is frequently suppressed in many cancers, such as lymphoma and breast cancers, said Charles Lopez, M.D., Ph.D., OHSU Cancer Institute (hematology/medical oncology), OHSU School of Medicine.

The research will be presented at a minisymposium on Wednesday April 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the annual American Association of Cancer Research meeting in San Diego, Calif.

The key protein, called ASPP2, works by activating biologic pathways that tell cancer cells to die. This protein is proving that it protects cells from one of the steps on the path to cancer.

Researchers made this discovery by genetically engineering mice that have a predisposition to cancer because they are lacking one of the genes encoding ASPP2.

This research helps us understand the basics of why cancer cells grow and what kills them so that one day we can develop better therapies and better cancer care for patients, Lopez said.


Contact: Christine Decker
Oregon Health & Science University

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