A breakthrough in cancer treatment
The team of researchers from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), led by Professor Cédric Blanpain, has identified the function of a gene, FAT1, whose mutation promotes the metastasis of certain cancers and resistance to treatment.
FAT1 is involved in cancer of the lung, head, neck, oral cavity and skin. In studying the mechanisms that lead the mutated FAT1 gene to become an oncogene, the team's work has also revealed that a therapeutic molecule already used in the treatment of blood cancer could be used to advantage in the fight against other types of cancer in which the mutated FAT1 gene is involved.
Professor Cédric Blanpain, Director of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory and recent winner of the prestigious Francqui Prize, emphasised the practical and short-term application of his research: "These results will have very important and immediate implications for personalised therapy in patients with cancers presenting FAT1 mutations".