Kidney tumours grow 'in several different ways'

23 November 2012

There are several different ways in which kidney tumours can grow, new research has shown.

Scientists have long been looking into how different people have kidney tumours with the same histology or shape, despite the fact that the genetic changes can vary among different individuals.

Researchers at St Michael's Hospital looked at different levels of changes at the same time, and three different ways that cancer can grow and survive were found, according to the paper, which was published in the journal Cancer Research.

Firstly, the tumour was able to amplify or replicate its chromosomes, the packages of DNA and proteins found in cells.

Alternatively, the tumour is able to alter a process that controls the on-off switch for the genes needed for cell growth and differentiation, which is known as methylation.

The tumour is also able to drive gene activation through another gene. 

Kidney cancer has a 35 per cent mortality rate and is becoming increasingly common.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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