BRAIN CANCER GROWTH CAN BE STOPPED BY REMOVING ONE PROTEIN

The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain’s nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
When the signaling molecule neuroligin-3 was absent, or when its signal was interrupted with medication, human cancers called high-grade gliomas could not spread in the brains of mice, the researchers found. The study was published online in Nature. Graduate student Humsa Venkatesh is the study’s lead author.
“We thought that when we put glioma cells into a mouse brain that was neuroligin-3 deficient, that might decrease tumor growth to some measurable extent. What we found was really startling to us: For several months, these brain tumors simply didn’t grow,” said Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and senior author of the study.
The findings suggest that interrupting the neuroligin-3 signal could be a helpful strategy for controlling high-grade gliomas in human patients, Monje added./dailyaccord
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