Single Gene able to Reverse Certain Kinds of Cancer?

Matthew Capowski

Staff member

We are often sceptical of cancer research, especially when a large claim is being made or a panacea has been claimed to be found. Scepticism does not mean outright rejection, however, and one must be open to new findings. The following study caught our eye:

Lukas E. Dow, Kevin P. O’Rourke, Janelle Simon, Darjus F. Tschaharganeh, Johan H. van Es, Hans Clevers, Scott W. Lowe. Apc Restoration Promotes Cellular Differentiation and Re-establishes Crypt Homeostasis in Colorectal Cancer. Cell, 2015; 161 (7): 1539 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.033

In this study the researches found that:

Our study reveals that colorectal cancers (CRC) cells can revert to functioning normal cells given appropriate signals and provide compelling in vivo validation of the Wnt pathway as a therapeutic target for treatment of CRC.

This is a very technical paper but the unique finding was that by reactivating a single gene the cancer cells were influenced to return to a normal, non-cancerous state.

This study was done using mice and is very early stage research but the potential promise this line of inquiry holds is clear.