Two Genes Work Together in Deadliest Cancer Jamaica Plain MA

Two genes working in concert seem to spur the deadliest form of brain tumor, glioblastoma, the disease that took Sen. Ted Kennedy's life last August. Scientists reporting in the Dec. 23 online edition of Nature said that the dynamic duo of genes are turned on in about 60 percent of patients with glioblastoma, and that those patients have an especially bad prognosis.

Therese M Mulvey, MD
(617) 479-3550
10 Willard St
Quincy, MA
Business
Commonwealth Physicians Services Inc
Specialties
Oncology

Data Provided by:
Margaret Mary Duggan
(617) 983-7777
1153 Centre St
Boston, MA
Specialty
General Surgery, Surgical Oncology

Data Provided by:
Sreela Ghoshroy, MBBS
617-232-9500 x5544
150 S Huntington Ave
Jamaica Plain, MA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Hematology-Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Calcutta, Med Coll, Calcutta, We
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Stephen Arthur Landaw, MD
781-235-3065 x221
241 Perkins St Unit C105
Jamaica Plain, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: George Washington Univ Sch Of Med & Hlth Sci, Washington Dc 20037
Graduation Year: 1959

Data Provided by:
Geoffrey K Sherwoo, MR
(617) 983-7160
1153 Centre St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Margaret J Lawler, MD
(617) 983-7777
1153 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Mc Master Univ, Sch Of Med, Hamilton, Ont, Canada
Graduation Year: 1984
Hospital
Hospital: Faulkner Hosp, Boston, Ma
Group Practice: Faulkner Breast Ctr

Data Provided by:
Faina Nakhlis
(617) 983-7777
1153 Centre St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Surgical Oncology

Data Provided by:
Ante Sven Lundberg
(617) 232-9500
150 S Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Medical Oncology

Data Provided by:
Mary Therese Brophy
(617) 232-9500
150 S Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

Data Provided by:
Geoffrey Kray Sherwood
(617) 983-7160
1153 Centre St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Hematology / Oncology

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Two Genes Work Together in Deadliest Cancer

Provided By:

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two genes working in concert seem to spur the deadliest form of brain tumor, glioblastoma, the disease that took Sen. Ted Kennedy's life last August.

Scientists reporting in the Dec. 23 online edition of Nature said that the dynamic duo of genes are turned on in about 60 percent of patients with glioblastoma, and that those patients have an especially bad prognosis.

"We discovered that tumors expressing these two genes displayed much worse clinical outcomes. This is remarkable given that it's based on [just] the activity of two genes," said study senior author Dr. Antonio Iavarone, an associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City.

"These researchers have identified two transcription factors that appear to be causative. They're not just markers. They appear to actually cause the tumor," added Dr. Todd Waldman, an associate professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. "For brain tumors, it's very exciting because it helps to explain why they are so devastatingly infiltrative."

Zeroing in on such specific targets brings the possibility of new therapies closer to the realm of reality.

"We are now trying to identify new compounds to block the function of the proteins," added Iavarone. "Some may be already available in the chemical library. We're in good shape because we know what we want to find, we know what the drug should do."

Glioblastomas multiforme -- dubbed "The Terminator" by one group of researchers -- are devastating because they so easily and quickly invade healthy brain tissue surrounding the tumor.

Scientists have been trying without huge success to understand why these tumors are so wildly aggressive.

Iavarone and colleagues determined that each of these newly identified genes -- C/EPB and Stat3 -- caused little damage on their own but, in tandem, wreaked havoc by switching on hundreds of other genes.

After almost a year, all patients in the study who had both genes turned on had died versus only one-half of those who had different types of tumors.

"These are not markers but master regulators of the most aggressive phenotype of brain tumor," Iavarone said. "Markers can tell us certain features of tumors but they're not the real engine behind the tumors. We have found the real driver making the tumors."

Turning off the genes in human brain tumor cells rendered them incapable of forming tumors when injected into mice.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on brain tumors.

Author: By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

SOURCES: Antonio Iavarone, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Columbia University Medical Center's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York City; Todd Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, oncology, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; Dec. 23, 2009, Nature, online

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read Article at HealthDay.com