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Gene showing opposite effect on some colorectal cancers

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New York: A gene that suppress the increase of many types of cancer is showing opposite effect in some forms of colorectal cancer, an Indian origin scientist said.

The research could lay the foundation for new colorectal cancer treatments.

“The gene is known as Sprouty2 has previously been shown to protect against metastasis, or the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body, in the breast, prostate and liver cancer,” said Sharad Khare, associate professor at University of Missouri School of Medicine in the US.

“However, our recent molecular studies found that this gene may actually help promote metastasis ( a spread of the disease to another organ) instead of suppressing it,” Khare noted.

For more than three years, Khare studied Sprouty2 in cancer cell models, mouse models and human biopsy samples.

Using different molecular methods, the researchers found that the gene functions differently in colorectal cancer than in other types of cancers.

Sprouty2 is known to block molecular circuits to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading to other parts of the body.

However, the researchers found that in colorectal cancer, Sprouty2 may increase the ability of cancer cells to spread instead of suppressing it.

Khare believes this occurs when the gene is up-regulated or supercharged.

“This finding is a very significant step in our understanding of metastasis in colorectal cancer, but it’s important to note that we believe this phenomenon may occur in only a subset of colorectal cancer patients,” Khare said.

The findings appeared in the journal Oncogene.(IANS)(image:cellcan.com)

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New Drug to Give Hopes to Bone Marrow Cancer Patients

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A therapeutic drug has been found to improve outcomes and survival rates for patients with a serious type of bone marrow cancer.

In a clinical trial by researchers at Newcastle University in Britain, patients with newly diagnosed myeloma were treated with a drug called lenalidomide.

The results, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, showed an improvement for those who received lenalidomide drug, compared to those not receiving it.

“This is a major breakthrough as it shows that the long-term use of lenalidomide significantly improves the time myeloma patients stay in remission after initial therapy,” said Professor Graham Jackson from the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells and it can affect several areas of the body, such as the spine, skull, pelvis and ribs. Current treatment usually involves chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.

cancer
New drug offers hope for bone marrow cancer patients. Pixabay

“It is a huge step and, importantly, identifies that for younger patients lenalidomide improves their overall survival for this difficult-to-treat bone marrow cancer,” Jackson said.

“Our research highlights that lenalidomide should be considered for newly diagnosed patients following stem-cell transplantation,” he added.

As part of the study, a total of 1,137 newly diagnosed patients were randomly assigned to lenalidomide maintenance therapy and 834 patients to observation – this was after they completed their initial treatment.

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The results show that lenalidomide can prolong the average remission time by more than two years in younger patients and by well over a year in older, less fit patients.

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups. (IANS)