Cancer Off-Switch Gene Found

By turning on a gene, cancer cells can be made to stay dormant

#Health

Mon, Feb 9th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to EurakAlert!, anticancer drugs azacytidine and retinoic acid cause gene NR2F1 to turn on, making active cancer cells switch to a dormant state.

[...] According to the study, NR2F1 exerts control over long lasting programs in stem cells in the human embryo, where it directs cells to stop growing and become specialized cells (neurons) for life. This function suggests that NR2F1 may exert a long-lasting effect on tumor cells, keeping them dormant after they have broken off from an original tumor.

"Our results explain why some tumor cells scattered through the body are committed to remaining harmless for years, while others cause active disease," said Julio A. Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, and Otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine.

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