Promising Cancer Research from UMass Medical School

Scientists at UMass Medical School have found that a common protein might be used to treat certain cancer tumors. The study is being published in the journal Nature Communications on Monday.

Scientists studying cellular aging also called senescence looked at a protein called SMURF2, which UMass Medical School professor Hong Zhang says is an important regulator of a cells aging process.

What they found is that people with the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, had very low levels of the SMURF2 protein.

Zhang says the idea now is to look at whether increasing amounts of SMURF2 proteins will cause tumors to shrink or go away entirely in people with this type of cancer.

“So, you can imagine if we can figure out a way to restore or reactivate this pathway or the Smurf2 expression, then we can suppress this tumor cell proliferation and provide a therapeutic benefit for the patient,” Zhang says.

Zhang says more research and money is necessary to find out if the scientific discovery will translate into a successful drug.