Scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (USA) have identified a new role for DUX4, the gene that is mutated in FSHD. The researchers studied DUX4 in different types of cancers. They found that some cancer cells use DUX4 like an invisibility cloak, to avoid detection by the body’s immune system. This also protects the cancer cells from immunotherapies.
This discovery suggests that drugs that block DUX4 could be used to boost effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies. This is good news for FSHD, as it could potentially mean more money and resources being directed towards the development of DUX4 inhibitors.
For more information, read Fred Hutchinson’s press release.