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Some Prostate Cancer Reflects Epigenetic Shift That Exposes Druggable Vulnerability

06:42 EDT 8 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

By studying molecular-level variations in prostate cancer, scientists hope to find ways to personalize prostate cancer treatments. One such variation has been highlighted by scientists based at Princess Margaret Cancer Center. These scientists report that they have found a druggable dependency on a particular kind of signaling that is used by some prostate cancer cells. The cells that possess this druggable dependency have a distinct epigenetic landscape, one that is seen in roughly half of prostate tumors, one that is attributable to a mutation of two genes: TMPRSS2 and ERG. This mutation, which results in TMPRSS2–ERG (T2E) structural rearrangements, causes overexpression or the ERG transcription factor, which leads to yet further molecular-level changes that cause prostate cancer cells, some of them, to become dependent on the NOTCH signaling pathway. This shift could prove to be medically significant. "Our findings specifically show that fusion-positive prostate cancer is dependent ...

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