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Protein implicated in many cancers

Receptor for hormone may be good drug target

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5:51pm, October 20, 2010

A protein involved in hormone signaling is also produced by blood vessel cells in tumors, a new study finds. The protein showed up in 11 kinds of tumors examined by a French-U.S. research team but was notably absent in most healthy tissues.

The discovery suggests that the protein helps cancer gain a foothold by recruiting blood vessels to nourish the tumor, researchers report in the Oct. 21 New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is strong work with potential for significant clinical impact,” says Edgar Ben-Josef, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who was not part of the new study. “This receptor may be a valuable target for suppression.”

Earlier work had linked the protein, called a follicle stimulating hormone receptor, to prostate cancer. In the new study researchers detected the receptor in every one of 773 prostate tumor samples they tested, noting that the receptor tu
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