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:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, ... in nVerge 2017 – a one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , ... which allows users to fully utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dr. Manju R. Kejriwal, a leading Ohio ... with or without a referral. Dr. Kejriwal understands the emotional and financial toll traditional ... in Cincinnati, OH. Patients no longer need to feel the esthetic effects of wires ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Myers Jackson is well ... the ability to sell luxury homes anywhere on the planet. The luxury home market ... from Hattiesburg to Houston city-scapes. A quick search of “11 Spyglass Hill Auction will ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Medic CE , a Career ... about Pediatric Septic Shock” hosted by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS). The ... time, will be presented by Captain Rommie Duckworth, LP, a career fire captain as ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on Long Island, New ... patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of the biggest trends in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) ... second quarter ended April 1, 2017 .   GAAP ... compared to the prior year period as the sale ... gain, while non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased 6.4%.  ... constant currency terms.  Excluding the effects of blood screening ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 Radiology has ... unfortunately its costs have also spiraled to the number ... sent to radiology than ever before as the most ... For a patient with lower back pain an MRI ... anatomical reason for pain, resulting in entirely different treatment ...
(Date:5/9/2017)...  Demonstrating its commitment to representing research- based ... Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today ... now have to meet new research and development ... join PhRMA. "By putting in place ... clear message that being a member of PhRMA ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: