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Understanding how the NF1 gene is involved in tumours of the nervous system

  • Researcher: Professor Alison Lloyd
  • Institution: University College London
  • Award Amount: £234,530 for 3 years from May 2012
  • Cancer Type: Nervous System
Understanding how the NF1 gene is involved in tumours of the nervous system
Neurofibromatosis is an inherited condition which can be passed on from parents to their children. Sufferers tend to develop a number of benign nerve tumours which have a strong risk of developing into more dangerous malignant cancers. Previous animal models have shown that neurofibroma tumours only form when a gene called NF1 is removed at a critical stage in the mice development but it is not clear how well this mimics what occurs in humans. Dr Lloyd has made a new mouse-model where she can remove the NF1 gene in adult mice. This alone does not cause tumours but if the mice also suffer nerve injury the majority of the mice develop tumours along the length of the nerve. Dr Lloyd is using her Worldwide Cancer Research grant to better understand how these tumours occur and she hopes to be able to look for potential ways to treat these tumours in the future.
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