Neuroblastoma is the most common tumor diagnosed in children during their first year of life. This type of cancer begins in the immature nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous system.
Researchers from Southwest Hospital and Third Military Medical University have been investigating the genetic causes of this cancer. In roughly 20 per cent of patients the expression of the MYCN gene is amplified. Expression of the MYCN gene is regulated by another gene called ALDH18A1. These two genes can become locked in a positive feedback loop which can result in MYCN-amplified tumor growth, increasing the risk of the tumor becoming malignant.
Thankfully the team have also been able to identify a protein, YG1702, that can stop this lethal feedback loop. The protein locks in on ALDH18A1 and disrupts its interaction with MYCN, which offers a new approach to combatting neuroblastoma. Previous attempts to target MYCN directly have been difficult, but this new indirect approach could lead to the creation of medicines that could harness the ALDH18A1-inhibiting ability of YG1702 to treat this cancer.
Source: Medical Xpress
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