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GEN News Highlights : Feb 20, 2007

Researchers Identify Cell Pathway in Colon Cancer

Discovery may allow new approaches to pharmacological designs and facilitate alternative approaches for cancer treatment.

Scientists identified a cell pathway that plays a role in the development of colon cancer. This pathway may also play a role in the development of lung and stomach cancers, they report in a study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Investigators say that they observed STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) to be a target regulated by PTPRT (Receptor Protein tyrosine phosphatase T), which was previously identified to be mutated in colon, lung, and stomach cancer patients.

"Our study shows that receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase T regulates an important signaling pathway that is critical in cancer development,” points out Zhenghe John Wang, Ph.D., who led the study and is assistant professor, department of genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. “This identification will allow new approaches to pharmacological designs and facilitate alternative approaches for cancer treatment.”