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Possible new drug target for head and neck cancers

Date:
March 15, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most common types of human cancer; it is the name given to a group of cancers that includes cancer of the mouth. While the prognosis for all patients with HNSCC is not good, it is substantially worse for those whose cancer has already spread (metastasized) to their lymph nodes by the time they are diagnosed. Identifying the molecules involved in promoting metastasis therefore provides potential new targets for drugs that might prevent the spread of cancer to new sites.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most common types of human cancer; it is the name given to a group of cancers that includes cancer of the mouth. While the prognosis for all patients with HNSCC is not good, it is substantially worse for those whose cancer has already spread (metastasized) to their lymph nodes by the time they are diagnosed. Identifying the molecules involved in promoting metastasis therefore provides potential new targets for drugs that might prevent the spread of cancer to new sites.

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A team of researchers, led by Sumin Kang and Jing Chen, at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, has now generated several lines of evidence that suggest that the protein RSK2 might be a potential target for such drugs.

In the study, two of the key lines of evidence highlighting the potential of RSK2 as a therapeutic target were the observations that expression of RSK2 correlated with metastatic progression in patients with HNSCC and that decreasing RSK2 expression substantially reduced the metastatic potential of HNSCC cells in a xenograft mouse model of HNSCC. The authors therefore conclude that RSK2 is involved in the programming of HSNCC cells to become metastatic and that this makes it an ideal target for drugs that might prevent the spread of cancer to new sites.


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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sumin Kang and Jing Chen et al. p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 promotes invasion and metastasis of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation, March 15, 2010

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Possible new drug target for head and neck cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315172207.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, March 15). Possible new drug target for head and neck cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315172207.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Possible new drug target for head and neck cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315172207.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

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