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15-04-2016 | Oncology | News | Article

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EZH2 potential target in cutaneous basal cell carcinoma

medwireNews: The expression of the histone methyltransferase EZH2 correlates with aggressive subtypes of cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC), highlighting the possibility that EZH2 may be an actionable target in this malignancy, say researchers.

EZH2 expression, as assessed by semiquantitative immunohistochemistry, was significantly greater in the 30 patients with aggressive histological subtypes (eg, infiltrative) than in the 29 patients with less aggressive forms of BCC (eg, nodular).

Similarly, samples from patients with aggressive versus less aggressive disease had a significantly greater proportion of cells positive for the EZH2-associated proliferation marker Ki67.

Investigator Alon Kahana (WK Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) and colleagues explain that EZH2 overexpression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma, which, like BCC, is linked to hedgehog signalling.

And they conclude in JAMA Oncology: “Future studies are needed to determine whether EZH2 and/or Ki67 expression in BCC may enable risk stratification of response to surgical and anti–hedgehog-based therapies, whether hedgehog and EZH2 pathways represent separate or interdependent targetable pathways in BCC, and whether combining antihedgehog and anti-EZH2 drugs would have therapeutic advantage for aggressive BCC.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016

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