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Retroviral Elements Could Be Exploited to Fight Esophageal Cancer – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

In esophageal cancer, targeted vulnerabilities have been identified, including the activation of ancient retroviruses hidden in our genome.

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Endogenous retroviral elements (ERVs)the ancient viral DNA sequences that lurk in our genomehave lost the ability to produce viral particles, but they can still cause mischief. For example, they can take part in the tangled mechanisms that give rise to cancer. However, in esophageal cancers associated with a cancer-promoting gene called SOX2, ERVs could make cancer cells more vulnerable to immunotherapy.
This possibility was recognized in a recent study led by Adam Bass, MD, a researcher at Columbia…

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