Cancer therapy: switching off oncogenes



Cancer derives from a cell clone that has accumulated genetic and epigenetic changes that influence its phenotype and finally enable it to escape from the normal controls of proliferation. A recent paper shows that, in myc-induced tumours, the inactivation of this oncogene produces the regression of the tumours and the differentiation of the tumour cells into mature osteocytes.1 In addition, a further reactivation of myc in these cells does not restore the malignant phenotype but induces apoptosis. This discovery could lead to an innovative therapeutic strategy. BioEssays 25:104–107, 2003. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.