Navigation Links
Researchers find roadmap to next-generation cancer therapies
Date:5/25/2008

Pinpointing new targets for cancer treatments is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack, yet a University of Rochester team has discovered an entire novel class of genes they believe will lead to a greater understanding of cancer cell function and the next generation of effective and less harmful therapies for patients.

In a paper in the journal Nature, available online May 25, the researchers describe how multiple cancer genes cooperate to cause malignant cell transformation. Further, they describe the discovery of approximately 100 genes that work downstream of known cancer-causing mutations, providing a host of new opportunities for intervention.

We believe that we have found a cornerstone for development of new treatments that ultimately will allow selection of drugs and drug combinations from a pool of compounds directed against these new genes, said lead author Hartmut Land, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Genetics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and scientific director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the URMC.

However, much more work needs to be done to explore how our findings may lead to successful targeting of various cancer types and cancer stem cells, he said.

Targeted cancer therapy such as the drug Gleevec that works for patients with certain types of leukemia and gastrointestinal tumors is based on a keen understanding of the architecture of cancer. Much has been learned in the past several years, but what has been lacking is a clear roadmap leading to dozens of new molecular targets.

Twenty-five years ago Land was among the first scientists to discover that malignant cell transformation required multiple mutations in distinct cancer genes. Ever since, he has been studying the cooperative nature of this process and the inner workings of cancer cell function.

His research group began testing, at the genomic scale, a prediction that genes responding synergistically to cooperating oncogenic mutations might act as the drivers toward malignancy, Land said. It now appears that this hunch has paid off.

Spear-headed by co-authors Helene R. McMurray, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow, and graduate students Erik R. Sampson, George Compitello and Conan Kinsey, the team found that among 30,000 cellular genes, only about 100 genes responded synergistically to the combination of two of the most prevalent cancer genes, Ras and p53, and were expressed differently in normal and cancer cells.

Accordingly, the research group termed these 100 genes CRGs, for cooperation response genes. By studying a subset of the CRGs, researchers also found that 14 of 24 CRGs were essential to tumor formation. In contrast, only one of 14 genes responding in a non-synergistic manner (non-CRGs) had a similar effect.

The significance of Ras and p53, and by association the CRGs, is enormous. Ras and p53 are implicated in about half of all cancers. When p53, a tumor-suppressor gene, loses its function, and when Ras becomes hyperactive, both genes play major roles in promoting uncontrolled growth of colon, pancreas and lung cancers.

Ras activation and p53 loss-of-function cooperatively work together through the CRGs, which encode proteins that regulate cell signaling, cell metabolism, self-renewal, cell differentiation and cell death.

Indeed, CRGs may provide us with a surprisingly large and valuable set of targets for interventions that will destroy cancer cells and leave normal cells unharmed, Land said. We are very excited with the results.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Orr
Leslie_Orr@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-5774
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Monitoring blood flow helps improve prostate biopsies, Jefferson researchers report
2. 2008 LOreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science Awarded to Five Groundbreaking Researchers
3. Researchers explore the emerging role of infection in Alzheimers disease
4. 2 LA BioMed researchers named Heroes of Emergency Medicine
5. Virtual biopsy can tell whether colon polyp is benign without removal, Mayo researchers say
6. Researchers close in on new melanoma gene
7. Traditional herbal medicine kills pancreatic cancer cells, Jefferson researchers report
8. Researchers develop first transgenic monkey model of Huntingtons disease
9. Researchers expand natural killer cells in cord blood to fight leukemia
10. Medical College of Wisconsin researchers identify proteins that help develop mammalian hearts
11. Mastectomies on the rise and MRI use may explain part of the trend, say Mayo researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's ... President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. ... 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of ... ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ... It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for ... for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in ... reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile coaching services ... by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise Agile Transformation ... Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS programs. Coveros ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, Dr. ... Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to suffer ... Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2017 ... has recognized the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation ... is based on extensive primary and secondary medical device market ... AVACEN Medical, through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, ... a unique approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter ... October 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference ... 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, ... ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator in ... medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s Crosson ... as its 17 th member. Through participation with ... Institute will help develop standards of care and best ... cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: