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Cancer Immunoresistance Linked to Loss of Tumor Suppressor Gene

By Carol Hyman, UCSF News Services | December 10, 2006

Cancer immunoresistance may be partially due to loss of a well-known tumor suppressor gene, according to new research led by Andrew T. Parsa, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. The findings are reported today (December 10) online and are scheduled to appear in the January issue of Nature Medicine.

It has been known for a long time that cancer cells have many different ways to avoid the immune system, including the common strategies of hiding proteins that are normally expressed on the cell surface or making proteins that act to suppress immune responses, according to Parsa. Some researchers believe that immunoresistance may contribute to cancer progression and development, he added.

Over the past four years, Parsa's lab has focused on trying to understand how specific mutations associated with high grade glioma correlate with immunoresistance. Malignant glioma is among the deadliest types of brain cancer for which there currently is no effective treatment.

Read more at Carol Hyman, UCSF News Services