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MAGE proteins and lung cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Patrick Ryan Potts
  • Institution: St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA
  • Award Amount: £199,419 for 3 years from July 2015
  • Cancer Type: Lung Cancer
MAGE proteins and lung cancer
Professor Ryan Potts is focused on understanding the basic molecular, genetic, and cell mechanisms that lead to lung cancer.Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, with latest figures suggesting nearly 1.83 million people are diagnosed every year.* But survival for this type of cancer tends to be low- and better treatments will help. Professor Potts is investigating a mysterious family of proteins called MAGEs. MAGE proteins are normally only ever found in the testes in healthy men. Yet bizarrely, they are also detected in wide-variety of cancer types in both men and women, including brain, breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, and skin. And when MAGE proteins are present in cancer, patient outlook tends to be worse. “The peculiar properties of MAGE proteins make them an outstanding tumour-specific drug target,” says Professor Potts. “However what they actually do is still a mystery.” Recently Professor Potts and his team have found out a bit more about how MAGE proteins work- and how they affect certain cell processes. They will now take this further. “In this project we want to understand exactly how MAGE proteins affect lung cancer,” says Professor Potts. “I hope this work will help our understanding of how normal cells become cancerous, and open the door to new tumor-specific therapeutic targets.” * Latest statistics from Cancer Research UK
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