Article by Colette Gallagher, Public Affairs
Tamas Ordog, M.D., director of the Epigenomics Program at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, and Jason Sicklick, M.D., of UC San Diego Health, identified a new drug target for gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are the most common sarcoma with an estimated annual incidence of 6.8 cases per million people in the United States. These tumors start in special cells found in the wall of the GI tract, called the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). ICC are sometimes called the “pacemakers” of the GI tract because they signal the muscles in the digestive system to contract to move food and liquid through the GI tract. Dr. Ordog is a basic scientist known for his research on ICC.
According to Dr. Ordog their finding may help overcome resistance to currently available medical therapy, a problem more than 95 percent of GIST patients eventually face, by using a drug already used in clinical practice.
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