Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Cancer Gene Discovered

Date:
October 14, 2009
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
A new cancer gene has been discovered by researchers in Sweden. The gene causes an insidious form of glandular cancer usually in the head and neck and in women also in the breast. The discovery could lead to quicker and better diagnosis and more effective treatment.

A new cancer gene has been discovered by a research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy. The gene causes an insidious form of glandular cancer usually in the head and neck and in women also in the breast. The discovery could lead to quicker and better diagnosis and more effective treatment.

The study is published October 13 in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The cancer caused by this new cancer gene is called adenoid cystic carcinoma and is a slow-growing but deadly form of cancer. The research group can now show that the gene is found in 100% of these tumours, which means that a genetic test can easily be used to make a correct diagnosis.

“Now that we know what the cancer is down to, we can also develop new and more effective treatments for this often highly malignant and insidious form of cancer,” says professor Gφran Stenman, who heads the research group at the Lundberg Laboratory for Cancer Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy. “One possibility might be to develop a drug that quite simply turns off this gene.”

The newly discovered cancer gene is what is known as a fusion gene, created when two healthy genes join together as a result of a chromosome change.

“Previously it was thought that fusion genes pretty much only caused leukaemia, but our group can now show that this type of cancer gene is also common in glandular cancer,” says Stenman.

One of the two genes that form the fusion gene is known as MYB. Among other things, this gene controls cell growth and makes sure that the body gets rid of cells that are no longer needed. It has long been known to be a highly potent cancer gene in animals, but for a long time there was no evidence of the gene being involved in the development of tumours in humans.

“We suggested back in 1986 that the MYB gene might be involved in this form of cancer, but it’s only recently that we’ve had access to the tools needed to prove it,” says Stenman.

The research group has also looked at the mechanism behind the transformation of the normal MYB gene into a cancer gene. Genes can be compared to blueprints for proteins. Carefully controlled regulating systems then determine when and how much of each protein is formed. One such regulating system, discovered recently, is microRNA, which can turn genes on and off. When this cancer gene forms, this important control system is put out of action, leading to activation of the gene and massive overproduction of an abnormal MYB protein with carcinogenic properties.

“This is an important discovery, because it’s a new mechanism which I think will turn out to be quite common in a variety of human cancers,” says Stenman.

The study was conducted with support from the Swedish Cancer Society and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, among others.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marta Persson, Ywonne Andrιn, Joachim Mark, Hugo M. Horlings, Fredrik Persson, Gφran Stenman. Recurrent fusion of the MYB and NFIB transcription factor genes in carcinomas of the breast and head and neck. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 13, 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New Cancer Gene Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105320.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2009, October 14). New Cancer Gene Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105320.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New Cancer Gene Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105320.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins