We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
UT Southwestern Research Reveals that Significantly More Genetic Mutations Lead to Colon Cancer
News

UT Southwestern Research Reveals that Significantly More Genetic Mutations Lead to Colon Cancer

UT Southwestern Research Reveals that Significantly More Genetic Mutations Lead to Colon Cancer
News

UT Southwestern Research Reveals that Significantly More Genetic Mutations Lead to Colon Cancer

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "UT Southwestern Research Reveals that Significantly More Genetic Mutations Lead to Colon Cancer"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center say there are at least 70 genetic mutations involved in the formation of colon cancer, far more than scientists previously thought.

Based on the study, published in the July 2011 Cancer Research (Priority Reports), researchers are suggesting a new approach to colon cancer treatments targeting multiple genes and pathways simultaneously.

Current cancer treatments target just one or two known cancer-driver genes believing this would be beneficial to patients. While patients may get transient tumor burden reduction, almost universally tumor growth returns.

The UT Southwestern research contradicts previous thinking that only a few mutated genes are important in the development of cancerous tumors.

“The ways we’ve been treating patients up to now is to just go after one target when we should be going after three to four different pathways simultaneously,” said Dr. Jerry W. Shay, vice chairman and professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern.

Under the old model, scientists believed there were 151 candidate genes and that mutations in just eight to 15 of them would lead to cancer. There were 700 other genes classified as passenger genes whose mutations were incidental to cancer growth.

“Those numbers are dead wrong,” Dr. Shay said. According to UT Southwestern’s research, there are 65 candidate genes and at least five passenger genes whose mutations play significant roles in cancer development. Inactivating the function of any of these tumor-suppressing genes led to a key step in cancer development called anchorage-independent growth, meaning cells piled up on top of each other rather than aligning neatly.

The next step is further research to classify more accurately which genes drive cancer and which are merely passengers.

UT Southwestern’s study was selected by the Faculty of 1000 - an international group of leading scientists and researchers – to be in its top 2 percent of published articles in biology and medicine.

Advertisement