SOURCE: Adelson Medical Research Foundation

February 16, 2011 13:00 ET

Adelson Medical Research Foundation-Sponsored Research Explores New Model of Colorectal Cancer and Explains Pre-Metastatic Invasion

Foundation's Open and Highly Integrated Collaborative Model Brings Together Multi-Disciplinary, Multi-Institutional Scientific Teams to Address Major Unmet Medical Needs

NEEDHAM, MA--(Marketwire - February 16, 2011) -  The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation (AMRF), a private foundation funding collaborative translational science programs, announced today a significant new publication in the February 17, 2011 issue of the journal Nature. The paper, co-authored by AMRF-funded scientists Yinon Ben-Neriah and Eli Pikarsky of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, and Moshe Oren of the Weizmann Institute of Science, explores the interaction of the casein kinase I-alpha (CKI-alpha) and p53 genes in intestinal tumor formation and pre-metastatic invasion.

"The collaboration among Drs. Ben-Neriah, Pikarsky, Oren, and their other Adelson Medical Research Foundation-funded colleagues describes a novel role for the well-studied p53 tumor suppressor gene in gut tumorigenesis and metastasis," said Dr. Miriam Adelson, Trustee and Executive Director of the Foundation. "Our Foundation's unique collaborative model encourages scientists from a variety of disciplines and institutions to go beyond the conventional wisdom," noted Sheldon G. Adelson, Trustee of the Foundation and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

"Malignant tumors are distinguished from their benign counterparts by their ability to invade adjacent tissues. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that drive malignant cells to invade could have tremendous therapeutic potential. The investigators have developed a new CKI-alpha conditional knockout mouse model of colorectal cancer which enables them to explore the interactions between the Wnt and p53 pathways in intestinal tumor formation and invasion. They describe a new cancer-protective mechanism by which the normal p53 protein suppresses multiple genes that regulate epithelial cell invasion. This discovery may explain how p53 loss converts benign tumors to malignant ones," noted Dr. Kenneth H. Fasman, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of AMRF.

Yinon Ben-Neriah, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. His research focuses on ubiquitin-regulated cell signaling mechanisms in inflammatory diseases and cancer, with emphasis on biological functions of the NF-κB and the Wnt signaling pathways.

Eli Pikarsky, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research, and the Department of Pathology at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. His research focuses on inflammation-associated cancers. In 2004 Drs. Pikarsky and Ben-Neriah published a ground breaking paper in Nature describing a molecular link between inflammation and cancer.

Moshe Oren, Ph.D., is with the department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science. His research focuses on the biology of the tumor suppressor p53 and revealed key functions of p53, including the regulation of cell death.

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, established in 2006, is a private foundation committed to a model of open and highly integrated collaboration among outstanding investigators who participate in goal-directed basic and clinical research to prevent, reduce or eliminate disabling and life-threatening illness. The Foundation creates a culture of scientific discovery, evaluation, and clinical application directed by the experiences of scientists who are not bound by searching for the cure of any single disease. Programs within the Foundation are defined in broad terms. The Adelson Program in Cancer Research pursues therapies targeted to the mechanisms that make cells malignant, and the Adelson Program in Neural Repair and Rehabilitation seeks to manipulate the regeneration of axons in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. 

For additional information on the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, please visit www.adelsonfoundaton.org/AMRF.

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