Gene find raises hopes of new treatment for bowel cancer

A significant breakthrough by scientists at Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh will enable new drugs to be developed, which could prevent bowel cancer. Researchers led by Professor Adrian Bird at Edinburgh and Professor Alan Clarke at Cardiff have discovered a gene, called MBD2, which is essential for bowel cancer cells to grow, but is dispensable in normal cells. The findings of the research, funded in part by the Wellcome Trust and published in the journal Nature Genetics, raise the possibility that drugs which inactivate MBD2 could prevent human bowel cancer without harming normal cells.

Gene Explains Heart Abnormalities Associated with Neurofibromatosis

While type 1 Neurofibromatosis (NF1) is primarily known to cause tumors of the nervous system, scientists were puzzled as to why patients with NF1 are also prone to cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and congenital heart disease. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have solved this particular part of the puzzle by showing how the Nf1 gene – which is mutated in those suffering from Neurofibromatosis – is also essential in endothelial cells, the cells that make up blood vessels.