Later in the disease, something happens to inactivate the RB gene, he suggests.
One investigation, involving people with bladder cancer, suggests that the RB gene is involved in the progression of that disease.
His team turned to the RB gene and its protein product.
Cordon-Cardo believes the RB gene is involved in a turning point - when bladder cancer changes from a relatively benign disease to one that spreads wildly and aggressively.
Researchers still don't understand why the RB gene sometimes malfunctions.
Genetic engineers would have to devise a method of inserting a healthy RB gene into malignant cells.
According to published scientific reports, loss of function of the RB gene occurs in most cancers and may be an essential component of cancerous transformation," stated Dr.
Bucalo continued, "A previous issue with using the normal RB gene to kill cancer cells has been that cancer cells can sometimes shut down the wild type RB anti-cancer protein by phosphorylating it, rendering it inactive.