Colon cancer is a heavily studied disease — and for good reason. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and its numbers are on the rise, from 500,000 deaths in 1990 to 700,000 in 2010.
Msi2 (stained red) is broadly expressed in intestinal tumors that result from loss of APC. Penn researchers believe activation of Msi2 downstream of APC loss drives metabolic activation of stem cells and blocks stem cell differentiation, leading to tumor growth.
Credit: University of Pennsylvania
The research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (P30DK050306) and National Cancer Institute (R01CA16865).