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Alzheimer’s risk gene produces antimetastatic protein

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, February 28, 2014

Scientists have been able to prevent melanoma from metastasizing through increasing levels of a gene that is best known for its role in Alzheimer’s disease: apolipoprotein E (ApoE). When they increased the levels of ApoE via activation of the liver X receptor (LXR), the authors saw an up to 80 percent reduction of the tumor sizes in mouse models of melanoma, and decreased metastases to the lung and brain by more than 90 percent. Currently, there is no effective therapy for preventing melanoma metastasis, and even with the advent of Zelboraf (vemurafenib, Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. and Roche AG) and Yervoy (ipilimumab, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.), the majority of patients eventually relapse.

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