such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
A new cancer gene has been discovered by a research group at the
Sahlgrenska Academy. The gene causes an insidious form of glandular
cancer usually in the head and neck and in women also in the breast. The
discovery could lead to quicker and better diagnosis and more effective
The study is published October 13 in the scientific journal Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The cancer caused by this new cancer gene is called adenoid cystic
carcinoma and is a slow-growing but deadly form of cancer. The research
group can now show that the gene is found in 100% of these tumours,
which means that a genetic test can easily be used to make a correct
“Now that we know what the cancer is down to, we can also develop new
and more effective treatments for this often highly malignant and
insidious form of cancer,” says professor Göran Stenman, who heads the
research group at the Lundberg Laboratory for Cancer Research at the
Sahlgrenska Academy. “One possibility might be to develop a drug that
quite simply turns off this gene.”
The newly discovered cancer gene is what is known as a fusion gene,
created when two healthy genes join together as a result of a chromosome
“Previously it was thought that fusion genes pretty much only caused
leukaemia, but our group can now show that this type of cancer gene is
also common in glandular cancer,” says Stenman.
One of the two genes that form the fusion gene is known as MYB. Among
other things, this gene controls cell growth and makes sure that the
body gets rid of cells that are no longer needed. It has long been known
to be a highly potent cancer gene in animals, but for a long time there
was no evidence of the gene being involved in the development of
tumours in humans.
“We suggested back in 1986 that the MYB gene might be involved in
this form of cancer, but it’s only recently that we’ve had access to the
tools needed to prove it,” says Stenman.
The research group has also looked at the mechanism behind the
transformation of the normal MYB gene into a cancer gene. Genes can be
compared to blueprints for proteins. Carefully controlled regulating
systems then determine when and how much of each protein is formed. One
such regulating system, discovered recently, is microRNA, which can turn
genes on and off. When this cancer gene forms, this important control
system is put out of action, leading to activation of the gene and
massive overproduction of an abnormal MYB protein with carcinogenic
“This is an important discovery, because it’s a new mechanism which I
think will turn out to be quite common in a variety of human cancers,”
The study was conducted with support from the Swedish Cancer Society
and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, among others.
Enter the code exactly as it appears. All letters are case insensitive.