Desmoid tumors can grow rapidly and be highly invasive or they can remain static for many years. These investigators are studying whether the proteins EGF (epidermal growth factor) and TGF-alpha (transforming growth factor) influence the invasive nature of desmoids and if either factor determines desmoid drug sensitivity. They hypothesize that these factors exert an influence on relevant genes. They have a three-pronged approach (1) measuring the mRNA and protein levels of relevant genes using polymerase chain reaction and tissue staining, (2) testing cell cultures for the influence of EGF and TGF-alpha on cell invasiveness and doxorubicin toxicity and (3) performing microarrays on lab-altered desmoid cell cultures in order to identify genes responsive to growth factor modulation. They anticipate that this may provide a list of potential therapeutic targets for use against desmoid tumors.
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