Are FOXM1 and CENPF key to some aggressive types of prostate cancer?


According to a new article published in the May 12 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers believe that they have been able to identify a specific combination of two genes that, acting synergistically, may be the drivers behind some aggressive subtypes of prostate cancer.

According to this article by Aytes et al., the FOXM1 and CENPF genes act “as synergistic master regulators of prostate cancer malignancy.” The authors go on to claim that:

Experimental validation shows that FOXM1 and CENPF function synergistically to promote tumor growth by coordinated regulation of target gene expression and activation of key signaling pathways associated with prostate cancer malignancy. Furthermore, co-expression of FOXM1 and CENPF is a robust prognostic indicator of poor survival and metastasis.

There is further discussion of their findings in an on-line article in TIME magazine (although that article is also a good deal less scientifically accurate in some of the commentary).

Clearly there will have to be a lot more work before anyone can confirm this hypothesis, and these two genes appear to be very different to earlier genes thought to be involved in the development of aggressive forms of prostate cancer, so some very careful scientific “sleuthing” will be needed before there is a high degree of certainty about these new findings.

One Response

  1. This could be very, very good news, given the growing ability of drug designers to create a drug that will inhibit the action of a single gene. The PARP inhibitors (several in Phase III trials), for example, inhibit the ability of the PARP gene to repair damaged DNA. Of course, this would be years down the road.

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