Scientists find genetic secrets to common kidney cancer

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Washington, May 19 (ANI): Researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have discovered genetic secrets to common kidney cancer.

By examining expression of every human gene in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) compared to normal kidney cells, researchers have discovered gene signatures that explain much of the biology of this common and difficult-to-treat kidney cancer.

The researchers say they have found: a biological pathway signature of ccRCC for a group of altered genes that give this distinct cancer its "clear cell" appearance; other genes that confer stem cell-like properties to the cancer; and a set of master genes lost in ccRCC that they believe likely pushes initial development of the cancer.

"Understanding these genes and the pathways they regulate could provide valuable insight into how to treat ccRCC," said hematologist/oncologist Han W. Tun, the study's first author.

This cancer makes up 80 percent of all kidney cancer and is often resistant to both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Dr. Tun said.

Senior investigator John Copland, a cancer biologist, said: "Up until this point, ccRCC was largely a mystery, but now we have new and exciting clues that seem to reveal the origin and development of this cancer."

The study appears in the May 18 issue of PLoS ONE. (ANI)

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