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Fighting brain cancer

Mutations in the gene PIK3CA occur spontaneously as part of the brain tumour, says new study.
PTI | By Asian News International, Washington
PUBLISHED ON AUG 07, 2004 05:20 PM IST

Scientists from the Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Utah have reportedly discovered two regions in a gene that encode a specific signalling enzyme or kinase, and are vulnerable to a variety of mutations found in five types of brain cancers.

The findings which appear in the journal Cancer Research, states that mutations in the gene PIK3CA occur spontaneously as part of the brain tumour development rather than being passed genetically between generations.

"PIK3CA mutations are known to occur in as much as 30 percent of colorectal and gastric cancers and glioblastomas and they are also present, to a lesser extent, in breast and lung cancer. Our studies defined the association of mutant PIK3CA gene in a wider spectrum of adult and paediatric brain tumours as well", the journal quoted Dr. Hai Yan, the senior scientist, as saying.

Dr Yan and his team are optimistic that identification of PIK3CA as an oncogene associated with brain cancers will ease up the screening processes required to identify patients for different treatment strategies.

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