Cancer Chemotherapy - New Research May Help Make Existing Treatments More Effective

A recent study into a gene that was previously known to play a part in the development and growth of tumor cells, found that this gene also protected cancerous cells from the effects of chemotherapy. The researchers conducting this study believe that the inhibition of the expression of this gene could provide an effective means of improving the efficacy of existing treatments for aggressive cancers that thrive due to the high expression of this gene, which is known as AEG-1 (astrocyte elevated gene-1). The study was carried out by a team of researchers from several departments of the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D, of the Virginia Commonwealth University, who is the leader of the research team, issued the following statement regarding the findings of this study: “Understanding how AEG-1 promotes resistance to chemotherapy and enhances cancer cell survival may lead to treatments that inhibit this gene and its regulated pathways, thereby uncovering potentially new therapeutic targets that can be exploited to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to fight tumors. The potential for translating these findings into beneficial approaches for patients is major, particularly for patients with aggressive cancers that are difficult to treat because of resistance to current therapies.”

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