New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
April 11, 2013
Super-enhancers are master regulators of gene expression

James E. Bradner, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘11-‘13) of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues, discovered a set of powerful gene regulators -“super-enhancers” that control cell state and identity. Important for gene control in healthy cells, super-enhancers are co-opted by cancer cells to overexpress oncogenes that lead to aggressive tumors. Treatment of multiple myeloma tumor cells with the drug JQ1 blocked the super-enhancer of the MYC oncogene and resulted in tumor growth arrest. Researchers hope that novel cancer therapeutics can be developed against super-enhancers in other tumor types. These findings were published in the journal Cell.