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  • Posted: 12/27/2013
NCI Cancer Center News

Study identifies potential therapeutic target for incurable, rare type of soft-tissue cancer

In a study published online in Cell Reports, scientists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center (home of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center) found that inhibiting the action of a protein called BRD4 caused cancer cells to die in a mouse model of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). MPNSTs are highly aggressive sarcomas that form around nerves. These tumors can develop sporadically, but about half of cases are in patients with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) that affects 1 in 3,500 people.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 68 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.