The discovery of a second protein that builds up in cells with a common genetic change has opened the door to investigation of an additional therapeutic target for the most common type of kidney cancer.
A study published in Science by researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center implicates the protein ZHX2 as a driver in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), which accounts for roughly 70% of all kidney cancers. This is the first time ZHX2, previously reported to be a tumor suppressor in liver cancer and lymphoma, has been implicated as a driver in ccRCC, said lead author Qing Zhang, PhD, an assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Pharmacology.
“This protein could be a potential therapeutic target used to treat kidney cancer on its own or in combination with other therapies,” he said. “The next step is to try to figure out how we can target it therapeutically.”