Cancer Newsline... This Month in Cancer News - September 2009

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Four New Targets Found for Breast Cancer
Protein Receptors, Enzyme Often Over-Produced

 Three protein receptors and an enzyme that often are over-produced in several types of cancer also play roles in breast cancer.

A team of researchers, led by scientists at M. D. Anderson, reported its findings on lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptors (LPA1, LPA2, and LPA3) and the LPA-producing enzyme, autotaxin, in the June edition of Cancer Cell.

"Lysophosphatidic acid is the single most potent cellular survival factor," says
Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of M. D. Anderson's Department of Systems Biology and senior author on the paper.

Variation in Gene May Increase Risk of Bladder Cancer
Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA) Is a Factor

Researchers have pinpointed a specific gene variation that causes increased risk of urinary bladder cancer.

In the future, scientists hope the results of this large, multicenter international study may help determine who is at high risk for this deadly cancer, which may lead to improved screening and targeted chemopreventive interventions.

"With this research, we found a novel specific gene and a functional variation that are independent of the previous suspects," says Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology, the lead and corresponding author.

Five Gene Variations Raise Risk for Brain Tumors
Study Is First to Discover Glioma Risk Factors

Variations in five genes may raise a person's risk of developing glioma, the most prevalent type of brain tumor.

This study, the first to suggest risk factors for any type for glioma, was the largest to date of a rare cancer. The international research team, led by scientists at M. D. Anderson and the Institute of Cancer Research in the United Kingdom, reported its findings online in Nature Genetics.

"This is a groundbreaking study because it's the first time we've had a large enough sample to understand the genetic risk factors related to glioma, which opens the door to understanding a possible cause of these brain tumors," says co-senior author Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology.
Video - Genetic Variants Linked to Brain Tumor Risk

Cancer Newsline Audio Podcast Series

Anal Cancer
Cathy Eng, M. D., associate professor in the department of gastrointestinal medical oncology explains risk factors and treatment options for anal cancer.

Treatment Options for Lymphedema Patients
David Chang, M.D., explains what lymphedema is and discusses treatment options including lymphaticovenular bypass surgery.

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