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Posted October 30, 2009

Genus: a Cancer Breakthrough?

There have been myriad approaches to battling cancer over the years, and great strides in cancer management in the past decade. But can you imagine a therapy that could reverse otherwise intractable cancers without harming the patient? The scientists who formed Genus Oncology can. Based on years of research at Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, new therapies from Genus are scheduled to begin clinical trials early in 2010.

The biologically-inclined can delve into the Genus approach at the new site Jell launched at the beginning of October. Here’s a gross oversimplification: Genus is targeting a specific protein (MUC1) that grows out of control in the epithelium (surface layer) of cancerous cells. Unlike other pharmacology companies, Genus strives to block the abnormal growth of MUC1 inside the cell, rather than attacking the overexpressed MUC1 proteins from the outside. Their lab trials on a variety of tumors, including breast and prostate cancers, have produced startling results. If the success rate of their clinical trials approaches that in the lab, Genus’s technology may be the most significant game-changer we’ve ever seen in cancer treatment.