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Cell Reports Publication Elucidates Role Of FACT As Accelerator Of Tumor Transformation And Potential Marker And Target Of Aggressive Cancers

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBLI), Incuron, LLC, a joint venture between CBLI and Bioprocess Capital Ventures, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) today announced the publication of studies describing the Facilitates Chromatin Transcription (FACT) complex as an accelerator of tumor transformation and a potential marker and target for aggressive cancers in Cell Reports, a peer-reviewed journal. FACT is the molecular target for Curaxins, a new class of anti-cancer compounds being developed by Incuron. The reported studies were led by scientists at RPCI.

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The FACT complex is involved in chromatin remodeling during transcription, replication, and DNA repair.  These studies confirm an association between FACT and cancer by showing that FACT is expressed at higher levels in tumor cell lines than in normal cells in vitro and that elimination of FACT expression leads to reduced growth and decreased survival of tumor cells.  The published work concludes that FACT's role in cancer likely involves selective chromatin remodeling of genes that stimulate proliferation, inhibit cell death and differentiation, and regulate cellular stress responses, making it an enabler of oncogene-induced transformation.

In addition, the studies establish a statistically significant association between the frequency and level of FACT expression and tumor aggressiveness. The studies demonstrated that FACT is predominantly expressed in aggressive undifferentiated cancers that result in poor overall patient survival because of the development of metastatic disease, irrespective of tumor size at the time of diagnosis.  This increases the potential value of FACT as a prognostic marker, as FACT positivity of a primary tumor could be used at a very early stage to determine the risk of future metastatic disease.

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