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Scientists Inhibit Cancer Gene - Potential Therapy For Up To 30 Percent Of Human Tumors



10/19/2005 5:10:23 PM

By studying mice with skin cancer, researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah discovered a way to inhibit a mutant gene found in up to 30 percent of human tumors. Called Ras, normal copies of this gene are important in cell signaling, or communication among cells. When mutated, however, Ras is an "oncogene" or cancer-causing gene that has been shown to promote the growth of cancers in the pancreas, colon and lung, as well as thyroid cancer and leukemia. Attempts to inhibit activated Ras have had limited success until now, but the Huntsman Cancer Institute researchers explain that they have discovered an enzyme that, when inhibited, appears to reduce the incidence of Ras-induced tumors in mice. They reported their findings in the May 9 - 13, 2005, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.

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