When cells express the abnormal protein… In these cells, the blue, green and yellow labeling respectively corresponds to the nucleus, the abnormal protein EWS/FLI-1 and the protein IGFBP-3. In the cells where EWS/FLI-1 is present (green labeling), IGFBP-3 is absent (no yellow labeling), confirming that EWS/FLI1 prevents expression of the IGFBP-3 gene. A. Prieur/Institut Curie
To develop new therapeutic approaches to cancer, it is essential to understand the long and extremely complex process that underlies it, in other words the various stages of cancer development from the initial mutation to the tumor. Having already identified the alteration that leads to Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer which afflicts young people, an Inserm team at the Institut Curie has recently used a combination of novel techniques to show that there 86 deregulated genes in these tumors. One of these genes, a new “link” in the development of Ewing’s sarcoma, could be used as a therapeutic target. These discoveries were published in the August 2004 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Cancer results from the proliferation of abnormal cells in the body. The trigger is an alteration in the genetic material of a single cell, in certain genes that regulate vital processes (division, differentiation, apoptosis, repair). However, a single mutation is not enough to transform a health cell into a cancer cell. Rather it is a succession of genetic accidents that results in uncontrolled cells that accumulate and lead to tumor formation.
Few cancers have a simple molecular signature – a specific mutation that leads to tumor growth. In Ewing’s sarcoma, a malignant tumor of the bone which affects children, teenagers and young adults, this molecular signature has been discovered thanks to a close collaboration between physicians and researchers at the Institut Curie, the internationally renowned reference center for the study and treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma.
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