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Deadliest Cancers May Respond to New Drug Treatment Strategy

By Jeffrey Norris    |   UCSF.edu | July 18, 2013

Deadliest Cancers May Respond to New Drug Treatment Strategy

Prostate gland adenocarcinoma

UC San Francisco researchers have found a way to knock down cancers caused by a tumor-driving protein called "myc," paving the way for patients with myc-driven cancers to enroll in clinical trials for experimental treatments. 

Myc acts somewhat like a master switch within cells to foster uncontrolled growth. Until now, it has been impossible to target with drugs.

The discovery of an unexpected biochemical link within tumor cells should lead to clinical trials for experimental drug treatments that indirectly target myc and that already are being evaluated in human studies, the researchers said.
 
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists led by Davide Ruggero, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD, used one such drug to stop tumor growth in a mouse model of myc-driven lymphoma and multiple myeloma types of blood cancer.
 
Their study is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
 
Previously Ineffective Drug Therapies
Unrestrained myc activity is a major player in many cancers, including cancers of the lung, colon, breast, brain, prostate and blood. Abnormal myc in cancer often is associated with poor treatment outcomes, including death.
 

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