Health Watch — Cancer Research: Detecting Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about some recent breakthroughs in cancer research. Because cancer is more treatable when it’s detected earlier, finding new methods of detecting cancer can help save lives.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified several genes that are silenced in breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer — the four most common solid human cancers. These genes normally inhibit cancer development but may be mutated or chemically silenced in tumors. Researchers studied genes from both normal and cancerous tissues to find patterns. Dr. John Minna, a UT Southwestern cancer researcher, says some of the genes they identified weren’t previously associated with lung cancer. This discovery could lead not only to new tests to screen for cancer but also more targeted treatments for some of the most common cancers.          


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January 2007

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