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Researchers Discover New Way To Kill Pediatric Brain Tumors

Posted Feb 11 2010 4:38pm

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown once again that “readyfireaim,” nonsensical though it may soundcan be an essential approach to research.

The scientists robotically “fired” 2,000 compounds into culture plates containing tumor cells to see if the compounds had any effect. When the robotic screener found one substance had scored a hit by inhibiting growth of the tumor cells in its plateresearchers analyzed what that compound acted against. Follow-up studies showed that the drug slowed tumor growth in mice by inhibiting the function of a protein called STAT3.

As a resultresearchers now have a previously unrecognized targetSTAT3at which they can “aim” new drugs for the treatment of cancer in neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1)a genetic condition that causes increased risk of benign and malignant brain tumors.

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