IMAGE: This is (l-r) Dr. Josh Mendell, Dr. Kenneth Chen, Emily Stroup, Ryan Hunter and Dr. Jim Amatruda. view more
Credit: UT Southwestern
DALLAS – Aug. 1, 2018 – Connecting two previously unrelated insights about the formation of pediatric kidney cancer, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have uncovered the means by which the cancer continues to grow, providing potential targets for more effective treatments in the future.
Wilms tumor is the most common cancer of the kidney in children. Typically, the disease is treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. This combination is effective for many patients but has numerous side effects, and a cure remains elusive for those with aggressive disease. This situation has driven investigators at UT Southwestern to look for more effective and less toxic ways to treat Wilms tumor.
Previously, pediatric investigators from the nationally recognized Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center identified a new molecular subset of Wilms tumors driven by recurrent mutations at “hot spot” residues in genes of the microRNA (miRNA) processing pathway (Rakheja et al., Nat Comm, 2014). A miRNA is a tiny RNA that reduces the production of specific proteins in cells. Nevertheless, it was unclear exactly why impairment
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