Cancer News Network

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

‘Supermouse’ helps in finding a holistic approach to fight cancer!

BBC News: Mice carrying a gene which appears to make them invulnerable to cancer may hold the key to safer and more effective treatments for humans.

The new breed, created with a more active "Par-4" gene, did not develop tumours, and even lived longer, said the journal Cancer Research.

University of Kentucky researchers said a human cancer treatment was possible. Cancer Research UK said that more research would be needed to prove it didn't just work in mice.

Par-4 was originally discovered in the early 1990s working inside human prostate cancers, and is believed to have a role in "programmed cell death", the body's own system for rooting out and destroying damaged or faulty cells.

The Kentucky team used an existing mouse breed known to be more vulnerable to cancers to test whether Par-4 could be used to fight them.

They introduced the gene to mouse eggs, and it was active in both the resulting pups - and their own offspring.

The mice with active Par-4 did not develop cancers, and lived slightly longer than those without the gene.

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