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Common cancer gene sends death order to tiny killer

her suggesting that this microRNA gets its kill orders from p53.

When researchers examined pancreatic cancer cells known to contain damaged or missing p53, they found that those cells had limited or zero miR-34a.

"With no p53 gene or miR-34a to stem tumor development, there's no brake in pancreatic cells and uncontrolled growth leads to cancer," says Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S., associate professor of pathology, oncology and genetic medicine.

Mendell and his team are looking for missing miR-34a in other cancers. If it's a widespread phenomenon, the work could lead to treatments that aim to restore the missing microRNA to cancer cells.


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Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
31-May-2007


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