Genome wide profiling provides opportunities for cancer treatments
More medical treatments for cancer, e.g. breast cancer treatment, melanoma cancer treatment, etc., may be developed thanks in part to the work of CU researchers using genome wide profiling and proteomics.
The focus of the research is melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer that contributes to the majority of skin cancer deaths. The technology allows researchers to identify proteins within cells that are affected by cancer.
CU researcher and Associate Professor Natalie Ahn said the goal of the research is to try to profile the proteins within cells.
By comparing the proteins that are affected within cancer cells to the same proteins within healthy cells, Ahn said researchers are able to identify more therapeutic targets for cancer therapy.
“We’ve developed new methods . and we’ve applied them to cancer models,” Ahn said.
According to 2008 estimates from the American Cancer Society, 1,180 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Colorado this year.
Biochemistry graduate student Casey Couts, 26, said new technology helped to provide key resources for the researchers.
“I think it’s really exciting, the technology to do genetic profiling is really recent,” Couts said. “We’ve discovered several proteins that are higher or lower in melanoma cells.”
Once affected proteins have been identified, researchers follow up on them to learn more about their role in cancer infected cells.
Couts said the research is being done so well that countless proteins are being identified.
“We’re almost to the point where we’re identifying more targets than we can follow up on,” Couts said.
While battling a foe as formidable as cancer can seem daunting, Ahn said she has faith in the quality of the work being done at the university.
“CU does cutting edge, world class research,” Ahn said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Stephen Oskay at Stephen.Oskay@colorado.edu.