U.S. scientists discover new mechanism in childhood kidney cancer

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — A new study by U.S. researchers has found that a problem in gene-regulatory process may cause normal cells to turn malignant and produce Wilms tumor, the most common kidney cancer in children, according to a release of The Rockefeller University on Wednesday.

The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature, has opened up new treatment possibilities for the disease, which is currently treated by surgery and chemotherapy.

It also raised intriguing questions about other cancer types. The researchers found that the implicated reader protein causes problems by acquiring a new property and being too active.

“We have never seen this type of mechanism before,” said Liling Wan, a former postdoctoral associate in the Rockefeller lab of C. David Allis, and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “It raises the question whether this type of molecular mechanism is also hijacked in other cancer types.”

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