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Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

More Progress in Understanding Neuroendocrine Tumors from Johns Hopkins University

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 14:31

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have uncovered more information about the genetics of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors!

In January 2011, CFCF-funded researchers found that mutations in two genes were correlated with the formation of pancreatic neuroendocrine cancers.  Alan Meeker, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and his team have pursued these mutations and now have data suggesting that both of these genes are also linked to why the ends of cellular DNA (known as "telomeres") lengthen in patients with cancer.  

"Finding the genes responsible for alternative lengthening of telomeres is the first step in understanding this process and provides opportunities to develop new drug therapies," says Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and director of translational genetics at Johns Hopkins' Ludwig Center.

"If the correlation holds up, we could use alternative lengthening of telomeres and ATRX/DAXX mutations as a method of determining a patient's prognosis in addition to developing treatments that target these genes," says Meeker.

A free abstract is available here from Science Express. Click here to read the press release acknowledging the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation's support.

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