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Scientists at The Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit Identify Potential New Target for Breast Cancer Therapy
Date:5/29/2009

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Dr. Nahleh said that increased identification of proteins in these aggressive forms of breast cancer is needed to develop better treatments. The discovery of the high rate of EZH-2 protein expression in breast cancer cases opens up a new avenue in doing just that.

"We are extremely excited about this discovery," she said. "This is amazing work. In the future, this could be a target for therapy."

The identification of EZH-2 represents just the first step in the mission to find more proteins that cause deadly breast cancer tumors and assess them for possible therapeutic targets. There is much work ahead, according to Dr. Nahleh.

"The ground-breaking work will come if we can identify a specific method to target this EZH-2 protein and show that this approach would lead to meaningful clinical results," she said. "We have to go back and look at survival rates. We have to consider years of follow-up work and we have to look at other associated factors.

"This will hopefully lead to new targeted therapy strategies based on our new understanding of the biology of cancer."

Fellow investigators include Sudeshna Bandyopadhyay, M.D., of Wayne State University School of Medicine; Rouba Ali Fehmi, M.D., of the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine; Haitham Arabi, M.D., resident of the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Department of Pathology ; Wael Sakr, M.D., of the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine; Adnan Munkarah, M.D., of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit; and Michael Kruger, statistical analyst with Wayne State University School of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Nahleh noted that the discovery of a potential therapeutic target wouldn't be possible without the laboratory and clin
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SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
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