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  • Posted: 11/23/2012

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NCI Cancer Center News

MicroRNAs can convert normal cells into cancer promoters

Unraveling the mechanism that ovarian cancer cells use to change normal cells around them into cells that promote tumor growth has identified several new targets for treatment of this deadly disease. In the December issue of the American Association for Cancer Research journal Cancer Discovery, a team or researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine (home of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center) and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (home of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center) show that ovarian cancer cells induce nearby cells to alter their production of three microRNAs—small strands of genetic material that are important regulators of gene expression.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong 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.