Targeting Known Oncoproteins

While they are active in embryogenesis, the ETS-family transcription factor proteins are not commonly expressed after birth. Four members of this family of proteins have been identified in a number of different cancers and are associated with the initiation or maintenance of cancer. These proteins present an ideal target for researchers hoping to selectively affect cancer cell growth while sparing normal cell function.

In Ewing sarcoma (ES), the cancer is caused by a single and well-characterized genetic translocation that leads to a chimeric ETS protein. ES cancers can be easily identified through DNA based testing that shows the presence of the translocation. The ETS-family transcription factor proteins are also expressed in various other cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, glioblastoma and prostate cancer.