Washington: An international team of researchers claim to have discovered a genetic Achilles’ heel in an aggressive type of prostate cancer, a vulnerability they say can be attacked by a targeted drug that is already in clinical trials to treat other types of cancers.Clinicians from Weill Cornell Medical College undertook the study to see if they could find a way to target neuroendocrine tumours, which is considered an orphan disease among other types of prostate cancer.They used a next-generation sequence analysis to study the transcriptome, the RNA messages that tumours produce, of neuroendocrine tumors compared to adenocarcinoma prostate cancers.A series of analyses using prostate cancer samples gathered by researchers from the U.S. and Europe concluded that the majority of neuroendocrine prostate cancers significantly over-expressed AURKA and MYCN genes, and 40 percent of these tumours also had extra copies of these genes.
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