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Methods for Diagnosing and Treating Neuroendocrine Cancer

Neuroendocrine cancers generally arise from the neuroendocrine system, a diffuse system in which the nervous system and the hormones of the endocrine glands interact. Neuroendocrine cancers also arise from non-endocrine cells which acquire some of the properties of neuroendocrine cells through an oncogenic process such as Selective Tumour gene Expression of Peptides essential for Survival (STEPS). Most of the well-described adult neuroendocrine tumors are distinctive and arise from a known primary site and include cancers of the stomach, pancreas, colon, liver, lung, ovary, breast, testicles, and cervix.

Dartmouth researchers have now found that neuroendocrine tumor cells express both NMDAR1 and NMDAR2 glutamate receptors, whereas normal cells from these same tissues lack NMDAR1 and NMDAR2 expression. Moreover, selective inhibition of NMDAR1 receptor activity inhibits proliferation of neuroendocrine tumor cell lines. Therefore, detection of one or both NMDA glutamate receptors can be used in the diagnosis of neuroendocrine cancers and these receptors can also serve as targets for the prevention and treatment of neuroendocrine cancers.

This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 12/254,320. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J293)

Last Updated: 7/24/12