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August 19th, 2009
Study Explores New Colon Cancer Treatment Option

A new study believes that drugs that are intended to treat cell surface molecule ERBB3, can provide a more potent way of treating colon cancer.

ERBB3 is closely associated to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), drugs used to treat EFGR have proven effective at tackling various cancers, but not colon cancer.  Drugs used to treat ERBB3 have proven, however, to be more successful than EGFR inhibitors at targeting colon cancer.

Study researchers genetically blocked ERBB3 in lab mice with colon cancer as well as in human colon cancer cells.  Lead author David Threadgill, genetics professor at the University of North Carolina stated “If you genetically remove ERBB3, as you would pharmacologically targeting it, then the mice rarely develop colon cancer.”

As a result of the study’s rise in cell termination when ERBB3 was genetically withdrawn from human colon cancer lines, Threadgill explains “If we use an inhibitor to block ERBB3, then it should be a very potent anti-cancer therapy.”

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