Gene mutation drives cartilage tumor formation

Duke Medicine researchers have shown how gene mutations may cause common forms of cartilage tumors.

In a study published in the Feb. 16, 2015, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Duke researchers and their colleagues revealed that mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) gene contribute to the formation of benign tumors in cartilage that can be a  to malignancies.

These benign tumors, known as enchondromas, are associated with , fractures, and skeletal deformities. They also have the potential to evolve into a cancerous form known as chondrosarcomas. Over 40% of primary bone cancers are chondrosarcomas, according to the American Cancer Society.

“These findings are important for cancer treatments, as currently there are no drug therapies for enchondromas and there are no universally effective chemotherapies for chondrosarcomas,” said senior author Benjamin Alman, M.D., chair of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department at Duke University Medical Center.

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