Gene that causes cells to become cancerous could be useful marker for early detection
Research from Queen Mary, University of London has uncovered a mechanism which causes normal cells to turn cancerous. Lead investigator Muy-Teck Teh said the team found that the FOXM1 gene initiates patterns similar to cancer cells. "This research has important clinical implications for early cancer diagnosis, prevention and treatment,” he said. “We knew the FOXM1 gene is present in almost all different types of human cancers so we wanted to understand how excessive levels of it cause normal cells to become cancer-like.” Normal cells inherit specific instructions or 'memory' patterns by masking and unmasking parts of their DNA. Maintaining the correct memory patterns is important for normal cell function and disturbing the pattern can lead to cancer. The researchers introduced FOXM1 to normal cells from the mouth and identified several patterns that could be responsible for initiating cancer.