Study identifies new approach to blocking lung cancer development

8 August 2016

Scientists have discovered what may prove a useful new approach to preventing the development of lung cancer.

A team led by the National University of Singapore have discovered that inhibiting a protein called BMI1 is able to impair tumour growth in lung cancer. This gene is also implicated in the development of tumours of the colon, breast and stomach, as well as some forms of leukaemia.

Lowering the levels of BMI1 by genetic means or using a drug to reduce the expression of BMI1 were both shown to be effective in slowing down tumour formation, a discovery that opens up a number of potential new therapeutic approaches.

Professor Daniel Tenen, director of the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, said: "These findings suggest that assessment of expression levels of these proteins could be used as a way to predict which patients might benefit from drugs which inhibit BMI1, some of which are currently being evaluated in clinical trials."

Lung cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers in the world, accounting for 30 per cent of tumour-related deaths, and there is currently no single treatment option that has been shown to be effective among all patients.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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