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Human throat cells & cancer in mice


A mutation in the throat cells of middle-aged people appears to reduce cancer of the oesophagus in mice, according to new research.


A study led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK, also involving EARA member Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, first discovered that mutations in the NOTCH1 gene were commonly found in the oesophagus (also known as the food pipe) of people aged over 50.


The team then did studies, in mice with tumours, and found that triggering these mutations in the animals could specifically slow the growth of tumours in the oesophagus.


Dr Phil Jones, at Sanger, said: “Studying these mutations can lead to a further understanding of how cancers develop and possibly hold the key to preventing the disease from happening, or developing new ways to treat it.”


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