In the ever-expanding world of genetics a mammoth discovery has just been made.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have found an anti-tumor gene.
The gene, called SARI, can suppress the growth and survival a protein that is over-expressed in 90 per cent of human cancers. Basically, SARI shows up at the cancer cell party, infects them, they stop dividing and then die off.
This finding is so exciting because it takes us one step closer to developing a powerhouse gene therapy program to fight cancer.
The researchers made their discovery by introducing SARI into cancer cells via a virus. Next they will work on developing better ways to deliver SARI.
The study is published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
With this kind of formidable work being done, it’s a tragedy we face a shortage of geneticists, as I learned from one of Canada’s best, Dr. Albert Chudley, president of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists and prof at University of Manitoba.