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Friday, March 24, 2006

EZH2: Enzyme That Promotes Cancer May Also Prevent It

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May Help Researchers Stop the Process of Tumor Development

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Published Jan 12, 2006 by Terri Rimmer
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Did you know?
Cancer will affect 1 in 3 individuals.
Takeaways
· EZH2 is a biomarker enzyme.
· Leandra Smith was diagnosed with cancer in 1996.
· Terry Healey was diagnosed with a disfiguring cancer.
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An enzyme that promotes cancer may prevent it according to new research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
A protein that identifies aggressiveness appears in two forms, according to CancerWise, a publication of the Center.

Scientists have discovered that a protein that suppresses cancer growth might also encourage it and researchers may have found a way to stop that process of tumor development according to new study results.

In a recent issue of the journal Science, M.D. Anderson scientists reported that when a protein called EZH2 is in its "native" state it suppresses cancer cell growth and works to inhibit cancer development.

In the study the researchers developed a "mutant" protein that stops EXH2 from being phosphorylated, says the study's lead author, Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., chair of Anderson's Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology.

EZH2 is a biomarker enzyme, which means the protein is used to measure aggressiveness of certain types of cancer.

"This has become a big riddle to cancer researchers who want to be able to use EZH2 as a marker upon which to base aggressive treatment," Hung says.

Leandra Smith, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, found the ocean to be a respite. She died in 1998 after a long battle.

Terry Healey, who suffered from a disfiguring cancer, published a book about his experience.

"I was a junior at the University of California at Berkeley when I was diagnosed," he said. "Five years later and after numerous attempts to reconstruct my face I was still dealing with the insecurity."

Linda Carpenter was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and went through chemotherapy and surgery.

"I guess there is never a good time to have cancer but at the time I thought, ‘I don't have time to have cancer," she said. "I was divorced, mother of three boys and was caring for my terminally ill fiancée who had cancer."

Aurore, 14, thought she had an infection but it turned out to be cancer.
"If you have a lump or your family has a history of cancer, go to the doctor and get it checked," she said.

Lifetime Television has an 11-year-old Stop Cancer For Life Campaign.

Elaine Newman, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 42, started her own little fundraiser to raise awareness for the disease.

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