Could these ‘molecular switches’ stop brain cancer?

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Could these ‘molecular switches’ stop brain cancer?

Aggressive brain cancer might be slowed down by certain molecules.

It might be possible to change the course of glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain cancer, by manipulating small molecules that switch genes on and off inside cells.

By manipulating miRNAs, we may be better able to treat glioblastoma, a highly aggressive type of brain cancer.

This was the conclusion of a study in which researchers in the United Kingdom and India manipulated gene-regulating molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) in “human glioblastoma cells.”

In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, they report how “overexpression” of two particular miRNAs reduced the ability of the brain cancer cells to invade and multiply.

The findings strengthen the case for using molecular techniques to slow or reverse the progress of glioblastoma — a “devastating disease” with few treatment options — says co-senior study author Dr. Arijit Mukhopadhyay, who researches and lectures in human genetics at the University of Salford in the U.K.

“We observed,” he adds, “significant reduction of proliferation and invasion capacity and increased apoptosis [programmed cell death] of cancer cells when we used increased expression of microRNAs as a switch.”

Read on: Could these ‘molecular switches’ stop brain cancer?

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