A gene blocking the spread of colon cancer [fr]

The fruitful collaboration between Nice university and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has led to the discovery of a gene which reduces the risks of death by colon cancer and decreases the risk of relapse.

The research of a French-Irish team from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Nice University in France could lead to an important breakthrough in the cure of colon cancer.
The researchers have indeed discovered that there was a direct link between the KCNQ1 gene and the patient survival. This gene produces proteins in cell membranes, known as ion channels
What is the relationship between the expression of the KCNQ1 gene and the patient’s survival? This is what the team’s works addressed, studying more than 300 cancer patients. They have discovered that patients who had high expression of the KCNQ1 gene were found to have a longer survival and less chance of relapse.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer globally (774,000 deaths each year) and the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland, alsmost 2,500 Irish people are diagnosed with bowel cancer annually.

This breakthrough opens up possiblities of new drug treatments that will be able harness the suppressive properties of the gene to target the colon specifically, without exposing other tissues in the body to unnecessary chemotherapy. The development of more targeted treatments for colon cancer is vital to improve the prognosis and quality of life for colon cancer patients.

The research team was led by Brian Harvey, professor at the Department of Molecular Medicine (RCSI), who has had very good relationships with France, as he worked in France. The team’s works of the French-Irish team is published in the journal Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences in the United-States.

For more information, see here.

Published on 06/06/2017

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