JUN 10, 2019 8:44 AM PDT

New discovery sheds light for precision medicine in cancer

A recent study published in Cancer Research highlights findings of a molecular indicator that could provide a new way for doctors to help predict how patients will respond to certain anticancer drugs. The research comes from scientists at Université de Montreal and could pave the way for novel methods of precision medicine.

The molecular indicator is composed of a group of enzymes called SRC kinases, which work to chemically modify a tumor-suppressing protein called SOCS1.

"SOCS1 is part of a gene-regulation circuit centered around the master cell proliferation regulator p53, often called the guardian of the genome," said senior author Gerardo Ferbeyre, a biochemist from Université de Montreal. "If p53 or another protein in its network is mutated or becomes chemically modified in some abnormal way, a pattern of gene activation occurs that programs cells to proliferate without control, as occurs in cancers."

This may sound complex (it is), but what it means is that the authors discovered another way in which p53 can become unbalanced, which results in the proliferation of cancer cells. This discovery will help predict if an anticancer drug could be an effective treatment for a patient’s tumor.

Subburaj Ilangumaran, a Université de Sherbrooke biochemist on the study, explained: "This new mechanism for SOCS1 inactivation may actually represent a regulatory control that is hijacked by cancer cells. On a more fundamental level, our group's discovery -- that phosphorylation of SOCS1 acquires a new physical form -- opens the door to hitherto unknown ways of regulating SOCS1 functions. And this has implications for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and for anticancer immunity."

This discovery could pave the way for new methods of precision medicine in cancer. Photo: Pixabay

UdeM PhD student Emmanuelle Saint-Germain added, "We were able to detect phosphorylated SOCS1 in patients' samples with an antibody that we developed. The same antibody could be used to detect phosphorylated SOCS1 in a clinical setting, providing a way to decide whether SRC kinase inhibitors would be an effective treatment."

Sources: Science Daily, Cancer Research

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAR 22, 2021
Immunology
Gene Mutation Keeps Tumors "Cold"
MAR 22, 2021
Gene Mutation Keeps Tumors "Cold"
Immunologists have identified a mechanism through which an oncogene mutation shields pancreatic tumors from immune cells ...
MAR 23, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
AI Test Distinguishes Cancer Cells From Healthy Ones Based on Acidity Levels
MAR 23, 2021
AI Test Distinguishes Cancer Cells From Healthy Ones Based on Acidity Levels
Researchers have developed a new way of differentiating cancer cells from healthy ones—by how acidic they are. The ...
APR 24, 2021
Technology
'Information Theory' Detects Culprit Cancer Genes
APR 24, 2021
'Information Theory' Detects Culprit Cancer Genes
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins used “information theory” to uncover key cancer genes. One such culpri ...
APR 29, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Cancer Cell Fate Influenced by Dietary Amino Acid
APR 29, 2021
Cancer Cell Fate Influenced by Dietary Amino Acid
This work could one day open up dietary therapeutic options for cancer.
MAY 03, 2021
Cardiology
Task Force IDs 7 Costly Medical Procedures With No Benefit
MAY 03, 2021
Task Force IDs 7 Costly Medical Procedures With No Benefit
Researchers have identified a surprising number of health screens that are given to patients who may not need them. Thes ...
MAY 28, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Some Biofilms Seem to Activate Cancer Genes
MAY 28, 2021
Some Biofilms Seem to Activate Cancer Genes
New research assessed bacterial and fungal biofilms, tenacious microbial communities that are tougher than small groups ...
Loading Comments...