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Study Proposes New Ovarian Cancer Targets

March 14, 2014

Proteins called TAFs were once thought to be generic cogs in the machinery of gene expression, but in a new study Brown University scientists, including Pathobiology doctoral student Jennifer Ribeiro, propose that they may be important suspects in the progression of ovarian cancer that should not continue to be overlooked.

“There is just not a lot of headway being made in ovarian cancer,” said pathobiology graduate student Jennifer Ribeiro, lead author of the study online in Frontiers in Oncology. “This is a different perspective. It’s a high-risk but potentially high-reward scenario.”

Ribeiro’s proteins of interest are called TAFs. Traditionally biologists have seen them merely as cogs in a universal and generic system that enables enzymes to transcribe genes into RNA, said study senior author Richard Freiman, associate professor of medical science at Brown. But in the new paper he and Ribeiro propose that TAFs may not merely be going about their droning business as ovarian tumors go haywire. They may be meaningfully associated with the calamity.

Read more of David Orenstein's article on ovarian cancer targets.