Targeting molecular blips on brain cancer chromosomes
DNA – the vital life molecule that contains the genetic code – exists in the nucleus of cells in tightly wound structures called chromosomes. The way the DNA is wound into chromosomes is precise and mistakes in the process are frequently associated with the onset of cancer. This is particularly true for gliomas, or brain tumours.
Dr Wong and her team at Monash University in Australia have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells. Using funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity, Dr Wong now wants to investigate exactly how these changes drive tumour growth in conditions such as glioma. This work will ultimately identify weaknesses in these cancers that might be able to be hit with targeted treatments.