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Surprising new insights into the PTEN tumor suppressor gene
Date:4/24/2014

umorigenesis in the mice. Akt is part of a signaling pathway that regulates cell growth, division and metabolism; when PTEN is prevented from inhibiting Akt, the pathway becomes overactive. As a result, say the authors, targeting Akt and its pathway may be an effective treatment strategy for patients with PTEN mutations, adding that inhibitors to affect this pathway are currently being tested and developed.

"This defines a new working model for the function and regulation of PTEN and tells us that PTEN mutational status can be used to determine which cancer patients might benefit from earlier and more radical therapeutic interventions and, ultimately, better prognosis," notes Pandolfi. "Our findings may help to better identify and stratify patients and their response to treatment based on the different genetic alterations found in the PTEN gene. Importantly, our study shows that cancer therapy should be tailored on the basis of the very specific type of mutations that the tumor harbors. This adds a new layer of complexity but also a new opportunity for precision medicine. I would say that, based on these thorough genetic analyses, this story represents the ultimate example of why personalized cancer medicine is so urgently needed."


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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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