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Screening approach leads to discovery of gene linked to breast cancer

etic material to systematically stile certain genes. With a high-throughput version of this technique, they found that when IKBKE was switched off, the cancer cells tended to stop proliferating and died.

"This triple screening approach enabled us to study what happened to cells when IKBKE was turned on and when it was shut off, and to take a global look at the genetic alterations within breast cancer cell lines and tumors," Hahn says. "Integrating these techniques allowed us to identify a new breast cancer oncogene and show that it plays a crucial role in the formation and survival of tumors."

The discovery that mutated IKBKE helps sustain a sizable percentage of breast cancers may spur the development of new treatments for the disease, Hahn remarks. Drugs able to target the oncogene and shut it down could offer an effective therapy for women whose tumor cells harbor the mutation.

The three-stage approach to finding breast cancer genes may be used in other forms of cancer as well, Hahn continues. "Our study provides a framework for integrated genomic methods of oncogene discovery."


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Contact: Teresa Herbert
teresa_herbert@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-4090
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
14-Jun-2007


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