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New Discoveries in Targeting Drug-Resistant Colon Cancer

Recent vital discoveries have been made in colon cancer research. Scientists have discovered a link between retinoic acid (RA) and the Wingless-related integration site (WNT) signaling pathways, vital for tumors to grow. Abnormality in WNT signaling has been associated with the development of many cancers and is possibly a contributing factor in drug resistance and the reoccurrence of tumors.

Dysregulation of RA and WNT signaling is vital to the development of colorectal cancer by scientists at the Cawley Center for Translational Cancer Research at the Graham Cancer Center. 

The APC tumor suppressor gene regulates the renewal of stem cells and their numbers. Therefore, mutations or malfunctions in this or other normal genes lead to the development of tumors.

Previous research had revealed that the RA signaling pathway spurred the maturation and differentiation of the colon stem cells. A more recent study linked the malformation and excessive growth of colon stem cells to deformations in RA signaling due to APC mutations.

An investigation into a rare genetic condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) revealed that APC mutations gave rise to increased WNT signaling in patients with FAP.This suggests that cancer of the colon originates from an anomaly between RA and WNT signaling.

According to the lead researcher, these findings were indicative of the possibility of developing therapies for advanced colorectal cancer that are more efficient. For instance, retinoids found within the RA pathway have had positive results in treating cancers like acute promyelocytic leukemia. 

More research into the links between RA and WNT signaling pathways could lead to the development of treatments that would be more effective in targeting cancer stem cells.

Therefore, the findings in this research are significant and may lead to discovering the genesis of colorectal cancer.


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