Genetic link found between brain, skin and bone cancer
American researchers have identified a genetic link between three different types of tissue cancer.
They have found 20 percent of all skin, bone and brain cancers share a defective version of a gene known as STAG2.
It is now hoped the new findings will be used to develop new treatments for all three strains of the disease.
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The researchers, from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, conducted the study initially to find a mutated gene in common forms of brain cancer.
They are now going to conduct further studies to see if the gene is present in other forms of cancer.
“In the cancers we studied, mutations in STAG2 appear to be a first step in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell," said Todd Waldman from the university.
“We are now looking at whether STAG2 might be mutated in breast, colon, lung, and other common human cancers.”
Meanwhile, David Soloman, a student involved in the study, added: “We are now attempting to identify a drug that specifically kills cancer cells with STAG2 mutations.”
“Such a drug would be of clinical benefit to the many patients whose tumors have inactivation of STAG2.”