Saturday, April 6, 2024

SOX17 and the Concealment of Cancer Cells from the Immune System

In a recent breakthrough in cancer research at MIT, scientists have linked the SOX17 gene with a response that reduces the presence of, or masks, the cancer cells. This masking protects the cells from being targeted by the immune system, which allows the cancer to spread uninhibited through the colon. The risk of developing colon cancer is 1 in 23 for men, and 1 in 25 for women. In 2024 alone, 106,590 new cases of colon cancer have been reported, with this number being a gradual decline compared to the past years thanks to screenings, and preventative lifestyle changes. With this breakthrough, this reduction in colon cancer prevalence could skyrocket. But how did researchers manipulate the SOX17 gene to deem it a viable treatment for early stage colon cancer? After implanting colon tumor organoids with no SOX17 gene into mice, scientists observed that the immune system was able to fight the cancer cells, essentially completely getting rid of their ability to survive. Scientists also observed the gene expression in patients who had colon cancer, where they found that the highest moment of gene expression with regards to SOX17 was in the earliest stages. While there is still research to be done, it goes without saying that this breakthrough will lead to more effective treatments for colon cancer in the future.

In my opinion, this is incredible news. The more and more research that comes out pertaining to how genetic discoveries can be manipulated to create treatments for diseases and chronic conditions like in this case, the more hope I have that this research will allow a lot more people to enjoy their lives without interruption. I hope to see similar findings in the future pertaining to fighting and preventing other forms of cancer.

Main Article Link: 

Statistics On Colon Cancer:

1 comment:

  1. Very cool!!! So the SOX17 gene basically acts a flashlight to these stealthy cancer cells. That is remarkable. Colon cancer is a killer, as are all. Let's see those numbers keep declining!