Scientists discover potential breakthrough in colon cancer

By WEEK Producer
By NBC News

Scientists discover potential breakthrough in colon cancer

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM CDT

BARCELONA, Spain -- Researchers in Barcelona have identified a new function of a protein involved in colon cancer.

Scientists identified a variant of an enzyme that activates genes involved in colon cancer tumor progression.

Researchers analyzed 288 samples of human colon cancer and identified the presence of the enzyme variant in most of them.

Scientists then showed that blocking the enzyme prevented the growth of colon cancer cells.

The results open the door to designing new drugs to potentially slow the progression of the cancer.

While the results represent an important advance toward understanding the mechanisms of tumor progression, further research is needed before considering applications in patients.

The study by researchers from the Hospital Del Mar Medical Research Institute was published in the journal Cell Reports.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.