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  • Posted: 09/07/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

HIF gene mutation found in tumor cells offers new clues about cancer metabolism

For the first time, a mutation in HIF2α, a specific group of genes known as transcription factors that is involved in red blood cell production and cell metabolism, has been identified in cancer tumor cells. Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and the National Institutes of Health found the mutation in tumor cells of two patients with the rare cancers paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma and somatostatinoma. The mutation was previously identified in connection with a non-cancerous hereditary condition, but never before in spontaneously arising cancers. The research results appear in the September 6, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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NCI cancer centersAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.