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New Approach To Stop 'Most Wanted' Cancer Protein

Update Date: Nov 08, 2014 08:11 PM EST

Researchers have discovered a new way to defeat one of the most tantalizing yet elusive target proteins in cancer cells, according to a new study. 

Researchers employed a strategy that turns the protein's own molecular machinations against it. 

Researchers used a specially crafted compound to disrupt the protein's ability to rev up its own production and that of other proteins involved in tumor cell growth. They found that laboratory samples of neuroblastoma cancer cells and in mice with an aggressive form of neuroblastoma, was death of the cancer cells and retreat of the animals' tumors, with little or no harm to normal cells, according to the press release.

"Recent studies have shown that when transcription factors like MYC are mutated or overabundant, they can have a cancerous effect. They cause a global rise in gene expression, making genes throughout the cell more active," said the lead author of the new study, Edmond Chipumuro, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in the press release. "Because transcription factors have proven so difficult to block with targeted therapies, we wanted to see if an alternative approach that targets these defective transcriptional mechanisms would be effective."

Neuroblastoma is by far the most common cancer in infants. 

The study was published in the journal Cell

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