Other highlights in the August 18 JNCI

rg, Ume University, 46-90-785-1982 or 46-90-785-6888, henrik.gronberg@oc.umu.se

Gene Hypermethylation May Help Predict Neuroblastoma Prognosis

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer diagnosed in infants and children, but there are few predictors for the disease's prognosis. In a new study of neuroblastoma cell lines and tumor samples, Manel Esteller, M.D., Ph.D., of the Spanish National Cancer Centre in Madrid, and colleagues found that by looking at the hypermethylation status--an indicator of whether a gene is turned on or off--of the promoters of several tumor suppressor genes, they could group tumors by their potential for malignancy. This method may be able to help distinguish clinically relevant groups of neuroblastomas, according to the authors.

Contact: Miguel Alaminos, Spanish National Cancer Centre, 34-95-822-8146 or 34-95-824-4034, malaminos@histolii.ugr.es

Study Identifies Possible New Target for Anticancer Drug Development

Expression of the enzyme heparanase is associated with the invasive, angiogenic, and metastatic potential of a variety of malignant tumors, and with poor survival of cancer patients. In a new study, Israel Vlodavsky, Ph.D., of the Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in Haifa, Israel, and colleagues of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem found that silencing the heparanase gene in mouse tumors resulted in less vascularization and metastasis and extended the survival of the mice. The authors conclude that heparanase gene silencing could be a potential target for anticancer drug development.

Contact: Israel Vlodavsky, Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine (Technion, Haifa), 972-4-829-5410, vlodavsk@cc.huji.ac.il

Researchers Study Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma

In a

Contact: Sarah L. Zielinski
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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