New research has discovered of a rogue gene that may play a role in the spread of cancer in the body. Scientists at the University of East Anglia suggest that blocking the activity of this rogue gene may help stop the spread of cancer. This discovery may provide a breakthrough in understanding just how cancer spreads.
The said rogue gene, which the scientists have identified as WWP2, is an enzymic bonding agent that is found inside cancer cells. It attacks and breaks down a known natural inhibitor in the body that prevents the spread of cancer cells. The UEA scientists discovered that by blocking WWP2, the levels of the natural inhibitor are boosted and rendering the cancer cells to remain dormant.
This discovery may someday help lead the development of a new generation of drugs that will help stop the spread of most forms of cancers. According to Andrew Chantry, lead author of the study, “The late-stages of cancer involve a process known as metastasis — a critical phase in the progression of the disease that cannot currently be treated or prevented.”
“The challenge now is to identify a potent drug that will get inside cancer cells and destroy the activity of the rogue gene. This is a difficult but not impossible task, made easier by the deeper understanding of the biological processes revealed in this study, ” Dr. Chantry further added.
Source: University of East Anglia. “Blocking rogue gene could stop spread of cancer, new research suggests.” ScienceDaily 24 January 2011. 26 January 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/01/110124073903.htm