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Kidney cancer discovery could expand treatment options

The Department of Pathology's George Thomas, MD, weighs in on study

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute study uncovers role of gene in renal cancers that don’t respond to current therapies but could be helped by existing FDA-approved drug.

Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute researchers uncovered a gene that may be the key to helping kidney cancer patients who don’t respond to current therapies. This discovery could also provide a toolkit to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from drugs that block this gene from causing cancer cells to grow.

The OHSU study, published in the June 1 edition of Science Translational Medicine, identified a gene called Src that helps certain kidney cancers grow. Discovering that Src plays a role in kidney cancer could help in delivering more effective, individualized treatments to patients, said George Thomas, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, the study’s senior author and a surgical pathologist at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

The next step, said Dr. Thomas , is initiating clinical trials to test how these tumors respond to drugs already available and approved by the FDA.

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