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Researchers identify genetic signature of deadly brain cancer
Date:6/3/2013

ver-expressed, so that you can attempt to achieve therapeutic benefit by inhibiting it," said Goldman.

The researchers chose to test this hypothesis by targeting one such gene, called SIX1, which was highly overexpressed in the glioma progenitor cells. While this particular gene is active in the early development of the nervous system, it had not been observed in the adult brain before. However, SIX1 signaling has been associated with breast and ovarian cancer, raising the possibility of its contribution to brain cancer as well. This turned out to indeed be the case. When the researchers blocked or knocked down the expression of this gene, the tumor cells ceased growing, and implanted tumors shrank.

"This study gives us a blueprint to develop new therapies," said Goldman. "We can now devise a strategy to systematically and rationally analyze and eliminate glioma stem and progenitor cells using compounds that may selectively target these cells, relative to the normal glial progenitors from which they derive. By targeting genes like SIX1 that are expressed at all stages of glioma progression, we hope to be able to effectively treat gliomas regardless of their stage of malignancy. And by targeting the glioma-initiating cells in particular, we hope to lessen the likelihood of recurrence of these tumors, regardless of the stage at which we initiate treatment."


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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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