Blocking rogue gene could halt the spread of most cancers

January 25th, 2011 - 3:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): University of East Anglia scientists have discovered a rogue gene, which - if blocked by the right drugs - could stop cancer in its tracks.

The culprit gene - known as WWP2 - is an enzymic bonding agent found inside cancer cells. It attacks and breaks down a natural inhibitor in the body that normally prevents cancer cells spreading.

The UEA team found that by blocking WWP2, levels of the natural inhibitor are boosted and the cancer cells remain dormant.

If a drug was developed that deactivated WWP2, conventional therapies and surgery could be used on primary tumours, with no risk of the disease taking hold eleswhere.

Lead author Andrew Chantry said the discovery could lead to the development of a new generation of drugs within the next decade that could be used to stop the aggressive spread of most forms of the disease, including breast, brain, colon and skin cancer.

The finding was published today by the journal Oncogene. (ANI)

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