One in 18 men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer during their lifetimes -- that translates into more than 150,000 people diagnosed // and more than 52,000 colorectal cancer deaths each year, securing the disease as the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Fortunately, mortality rates for this disease have been declining due to earlier screenings, awareness of symptoms, removal of polyps, and improved treatments through advances in research discoveries -- like today's genetic breakthroughs.
In a recent study, researchers identified a cell pathway critical in the development of colon cancer and also lung and stomach cancers.
STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) is the newest discovery and is a target regulated by PRPRT (receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase T), already identified to be mutated in these cancers.
"The role of protein tyrosine phosphatase in cancer is still an under-explored area," says Zhenghe John Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"Our study shows that receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase T regulates an important signaling pathway that is critical in cancer development. This identification will allow new approaches to pharmacological designs and facilitate alternative approaches for cancer treatment."
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