Saudi researchers identify genes linked to colorectal carcinoma

March 31, 2011

Researchers at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC) in Riyadh have identified genes potentially playing an important role in the progression of colorectal carcinoma (CRC). In a scientific article featured in the February issue of the American Journal of Pathology, entitled “Genome-Wide Expression Analysis of Middle Eastern Colorectal Cancer Reveals FOXM1 as a Novel Target for Cancer Therapy,” the research team revealed that they had managed to suppress the activity of the gene during laboratory experiments.

The scientific team was led by Dr. Khawla Al-Kuraya, Consultant Pathologist and Senior Scientist for Cancer Research at KFSH&RC, and included Samar Alhomoud Samar and Fouad Al-Dayel Fouad, according to a report from the Saudi Gazette. During the breakthrough study, the researchers conducted gene scanning of cancerous samples taken from Saudi patients suffering from colorectal cancer and compared them with healthy samples. This process enabled the team to identify a gene called FOXM1, which has an effective and active role in cancerous cells. Addressing a press conference in Riyadh, Al-Kuraya said that this finding has enabled the team to suppress the activity of this gene in the laboratory by using a chemical substance resembling an antibiotic called “Thyostrepoine.”

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