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Researchers at the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL have identified two novel tumour suppressor genes encoding highly homologous secreted proteins. The UCL researchers found that many types of cancer uniformly show suppressed expression of these genes while the surrounding healthy tissues express normal levels of these genes. Furthermore, overexpression of each of these genes in cancer cell lines results in cancer cell death and could be used in therapy.
<h2>The Technology and its Advantages</h2>
Recently, significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have been achieved but many types of cancer still do not respond to treatment. Diagnosis is currently specific to different tumour types, making screening difficult. Researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have shown that two proteins, namely OMD and PRELP may be used to discriminate cancerous from non-cancerous tissues. In cancerous tissues both of these genes are under-expressed and the levels of expression suppression correspond to the stage of cancer and its metastatic potential. Furthermore, the UCL researchers have also shown that overexpreson of these genes in tumours introduces chemosensitivity, cell cycle arrest at G1 phase and inhibition of anchorage-independent growth. Increasing the expression levels in normal cells showed no toxicity. These findings open the opportunities for using OMD and PRELP in cancer therapy.
Global cancer prevalence is mainly driven by the aging population and increased survival rates. In 2007 the global cancer market generated sales of $56.7bn, representing a 16.8% increase over 2006 (Business Insights - The Cancer Outlook 2013). Cancer as a disease is not treated as a single homogenous disease; different tumour types have different diagnostic and treatment lines and hence the market is also made up of small markets focusing on a specific tumour type. The genes and their products described here have the potential to address many cancer types across the market.
<h2>Intellectual Property Status</h2>
Patent pending WO2011073629
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The technology referred to herein is experimental in nature and UCL Business PLC makes no representations and gives no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, in relation to the technology and, in particular but without limiting the foregoing, UCL Business PLC gives no express or implied warranties of merchantability, satisfactory quality or fitness for a particular purpose.