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Researchers Identify microRNA Tied To Colon Cancer Tumor Growth

Update Date: Oct 02, 2014 09:04 AM EDT

Researchers have identified microRNAs that may cause colon polyps from turning cancerous, according to a new study. 

Findings of the study could help physicians provide more specialized and earlier, treatment before colon cancer develops, the press release added. 

According to American Cancer Society, more than 134,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. This year alone, about 50,000 people will die because of the disease. 

"With the advanced screenings we now have available, why are so many people still being diagnosed with colon cancer? We really wanted to understand if there was a way to stop the disease before it starts, before benign polyps became cancerous tumors," said lead researchers Subbaya Subramanian, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Surgery in the University of Minnesota Medical School and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

"It suggests a biomarker for colon cancer patients, something ideally physicians can one day screen for as a diagnostic and prognostic tool," said Subramanian.

According to Subramanian, the next step will be determining if drugs are able to target miR-182 and -503 as well was what miR-182 and -503 do after suppressing FBXW7. 

The study was published in The Journal of Pathology.

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