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Two genes together drive aggressive prostate cancer
Date:5/12/2014

NEW YORK, NY (May 12, 2014) Two genes work together to drive the most lethal forms of prostate cancer, according to new research from the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). These findings could lead to a diagnostic test for identifying those tumors likely to become aggressive and to the development of novel combination therapy for the disease.

The two genesFOXM1 and CENPFhad been previously implicated in cancer, but none of the prior studies suggested that they might work synergistically to cause the most aggressive form of prostate cancer. The study was published today in the online issue of Cancer Cell.

"Individually, neither gene is significant in terms of its contribution to prostate cancer," said co-senior author Andrea Califano, PhD, the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical Biology in Biomedical Informatics and the Institute for Cancer Genetics and chair of systems biology at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons. "But when both genes are turned on, they work together synergistically to activate pathways associated with the most aggressive form of the disease."

"Ultimately, we expect this finding to allow doctors to identify patients with the most aggressive prostate cancer so that they can get the most effective treatments," said co-senior author Cory Abate-Shen, PhD, the Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urologic Sciences and professor of pathology and cell biology at CUMC. "Having biomarkers that predict which patients will respond to specific drugs will hopefully provide a more personalized way to treat cancer."

Scientists widely recognize that cancer is characterized by multiple genetic changes. "However, distinguishing the handful of genes that are driving the cancer from the many genes whose altered expression does not contribute directly to the cancer has proven to be a daunting task," said Dr. Califano. "It becomes even more d
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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@cumc.columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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