I’ve been checking out an interesting website today that I thought you should know about – it is www.pi3k.org.
Remember the “Stand Up To Cancer” telethon? It’s a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and they raise money for cancer research. Apparently several “Dream Teams” have been formed with the funds from this telethon and these Dream Teams are comprised of very talented scientists and clinicians who are collaborating.
Who is PI3K.Org?
PI3K.org is comprised of the best minds from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vall D’Hebron Institute of Oncology, and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. Some great minds collaborating indeed!
The mission of PI3K.org is to “take scientific and clinical observations and rapidly apply them to cutting edge clinical trials for patients diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Our Dream Team is composed of researchers and clinical investigators that have pioneered the discovery of the PI3K pathway and have proven its significance in women’s cancers.”
So What Is PI3K?
Having never heard of the PI3K Pathway before today, I had to go into research mode. Here’s a good explanation of the PI3K Pathway offered by PI3k.org.
Wikipedia also has this to offer: “Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI 3-kinases or PI3Ks) are a family of enzymes involved in cellular functions such as cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, motility, survival and intracellular trafficking, which in turn are involved in cancer.”
Researchers have discovered that with many breast cancer patients, problems occur in the PI3K pathway, resulting in disregulation of cell functions which can contribute to the development of many different types of cancers, including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
If you want ALL the gory details about cell signalling and how PI3K plays its part, click here. If not, suffice to say that researchers are very actively involved in developing new drugs and therapies which target the PI3K pathway, which is abnormal in about 20-30% of patients with advanced breast cancer.
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