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September, 2000

Gene Identified for Cardiomyopathy

The Director of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics was extremely excited with the news of a gene recently identified. Baylor College of Medicine researchers have identified a new gene that is responsible for dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of heart failure in children and adults. It is a common heart muscle disease. Baylor College of Medicine researchers believe they have found the part of the heart at greatest risk for dilated cardiomyopathy. They hope to study this “final common pathway” to possibly identify other genes that might cause the disease.


September, 2000

Protein Linked to Prostate Cancer

Studies of prostate cancer samples from the same number of African-American and white males were studied for a number of biomarkers associated with prostate cancer. African American males are twice as likely as white males to have prostate cancer and die from the cancer. Dr. Timothy Thompson a Professor of Urology, Radiology, and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine has been studying the problem and believes there is a link. He believes his study findings show a “two-fold difference in the caveolin-1 found in African-American men with prostate cancer.” He and his research group have previously found a link between caveolin-1 and the spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body. Dr. Thompson is hoping that his research will lead to a non-invasive procedure that will allow for prediction of where the cancer would spread. This also could lead to a screening tool for African-American males and possibly all males. Dr. Thompson is also hoping this research might lead to a drug to counteract the protein. With this finding of a marker, it takes Dr. Thompson’s research to a whole new level of understanding prostate cancer. Dr. Thompson’s research is funded through a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

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