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Scientist seeks to identify genes causing rare cancer


Scientist seeks to identify genes causing rare cancer

Mathematician sheds new light on the cause of pandemic influenza





Dr Vincent Keng Wee-keong, Assistant Professor of PolyU’s Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, has developed a sophisticated model for studying “Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors” (MPNSTs) in collaboration with researchers from University of Minnesota, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and University of Florida in the US, and Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer in Spain. This has paved the way for further discovery of new genes and genetic pathways that may provide new therapeutic targets for related cancer treatment.

In order to identify the genes leading to MPNSTs, the research team has adopted The Sleeping Beauty transposon method, a powerful genetic tool and an unbiased approach, in a tissue-specific manner in mice. The research analysis uncovered 745 cancer candidate genes (both known and new genes). Genes and signalling pathways that cooperate in MPNST formation were also identified. In the study, the role of FOXR2 was demonstrated as an important oncogene or cancer-causing gene for MPNSTs development and turning off this gene drastically decreases the growth ability of these tumors.

The research findings were published in the international journal Nature Genetics (May 2013 issue). Details>>



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