Mayo Clinic's in vivo animal studies show that PAX8/PPARγ upregulates the well-known anti-cancer protein PTEN, as well as microRNA-122, and likely facilitates other cancer-fighting molecules.
PAX8/PPARγ does not boost tumor progression when exposed to cancerous cells, Dr. Reddi says. Rather, its facilitation of other native anti-cancer molecules appears to outweigh the tumor propagation. Tumors grew about four times slower in mice exposed to the PAX8/PPARγ gene than those who were deprived of the protein's cancer-fighting qualities.
Among the team's goals in future research is the identification of other microRNA-like markers, which could identify a benign disease and obviate the need for immediate and unnecessary surgery.
Based on her discussions with clinicians at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Reddi says, "There are many complications from thyroid surgery, and having early detection markers could save thousands of unnecessary surgeries every year. We're just getting started and look towards a rapid translation from bench to bedside."
Source: Mayo Clinic