Brain Cancer Research Could Lead to New Drugs

Glioblastoma cellular genetic mechanism identified

(RxWiki News) Science has come a long way in understanding what cancer is, but how exactly cells become cancerous in the first place isn't as well understood. Stopping or reversing this process is an important research goal, but there's still a long way to go. 

Researchers have found that an interaction between two proteins may be part of the puzzle in how a rare form of brain cancer develops. 

"Keep an eye on developments in drug research for glioblastoma patients."

In his research at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Luiz O.F. Penalva, Ph.D has shown a connection between two cellular proteins and glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that has limited treatment options.

The two proteins, Musashi1 and HuR, control a wide range of regulatory proteins. In other words, changing the amount of these proteins can change the entire cell in a chain reaction, developing cancer.  

In theory, by interfering with these two proteins, tumor development could be avoided or reversed.

"To treat cancer, you have to understand what triggers tumor formation," said Penalva. "If we continue to think that all the activity is at the [DNA] level, we are just fooling ourselves. Clearly, something is going on beyond that level." 

The report was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Research, a division of the American Association for Cancer Research.  

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Review Date: 
January 20, 2012