WEHI researchers have successfully identified a key molecular regulator involved in the progression and spread of stomach cancer, which suggests a potential new approach to treat the disease.
The researchers found that if the inflammatory signaling protein TNF is removed, it might be able to prevent early-stage stomach cancers from progressing to a severe stage – which is much harder to treat.
It implements that cancer might respond well to medicines that inhibit TNF.
Human stomach cancer is often caused by prolonged inflammation. The model of cancer used in the study is driven by the absence of NF-KB1 protein. It accurately reflects the sequential changes in human cancer along with the progress from an early, inflammatory stage.
Removing each of the four cytokines in the model, the researchers found that the cytokine TNF was required for the progression of cancer. Hence, cytokine TNF can be a potential therapeutic target and can help stop stomach cancer at an early stage.