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Researchers identify role of gene in tumor development, growth and progression
Date:11/20/2009

ssential role in tumor progression, with potential to develop effective therapeutic approaches for multiple cancers through targeted inhibition of this novel molecule or its downstream regulated processes," said Fisher, who is the first incumbent of the Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research with the VCU Massey Cancer Center.

"We believe it will pave the way for ameliorating the sufferings of scores of cancer patients by uncovering new and effective avenues for treatment," he said.

To expand the work on AEG-1, the VCU Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Massey Cancer Center recently received a National Cancer Institute grant totaling $1.6 million to study the AEG-1 gene in the context of malignant brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM. According to Fisher, who is the primary investigator for the study, the work will extend the understanding of this gene and how it may serve as an oncogenic, or transforming gene.

"Cancer development and progression are multi-factor and multi-step processes that occur in a temporal manner. As mentioned above AEG-1 clearly has multiple roles in various steps of tumor progression, including tumor cell growth, insensitivity to growth-inhibitory signals, including chemotherapeutic agents, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis," explained Fisher.

"In addition, AEG-1 has been known to have oncogenic roles in various cancers including glioma (CNS tumor), neuroblastoma, liver cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. These important correlations make this gene an intriguing molecule to study with potential to serve as a direct target for cancer therapy," he said.

The gene was discovered in 2002 in Fisher's laboratory while he was at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.


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Contact: Sathya Achia Abraham
sbachia@vcu.edu
804-827-0890
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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