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Lost molecule holds the key to lung cancer

by Medindia Content Team on April 16, 2006 at 7:03 PM
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Lost molecule holds the key to lung cancer

Lung cancer is soon becoming infamous with being the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world - what with nearly 1.2 million fresh cases every year that includes more than 37,000 in the UK itself!

According to recent research, the most common type of lung cancer, owes its birth to the impairment of a single type of protein molecule. The researchers, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, have expressed optimism with this finding, which will hold a clue to new treatments for non-small cell lung cancer. This study has found a place in the British Journal Of cancer.

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The proteins help mange the growth of cells, the blood vessel formation and cell death, which can all get haywire when a person is afflicted with cancer. Samples of lung tumor tissue from nearly 46 lung cancer patients and similar numbers of lung tissue from healthy patients were compared by researchers, and the finding revealed that the important proteins were completely missing or showed a decline in their presence in nearly 75% of the tumor samples. The same processes were repeated on mice.

Lead researcher Professor Pran Datta said: "We've established for the first time that these important molecules are either missing or that their action is reduced in three quarters of all cases of lung cancer. When we restored the molecules in lung cancer cells in mice they reduced the ability of the cells to grow as tumors."
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Professor John Toy, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Unraveling events that lead to the loss of normal molecules in cancer is extremely important in finding new ways to control the disease.However, it's important to remember that the vast majority of cases of lung cancer are preventable as they are caused by smoking. The best way to reduce risk is to quit."

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