The 30-Year Quest to Tame the ‘Wiley’ Cancer Gene

March 13, 2018

(NPR) – The healthy RAS gene instructs the cell to make a protein that is basically an on/off switch that tells living cells when to start dividing. “But in cancer cells, the switch is basically defective so it’s stuck in the on state most of the time,” says McCormick. With cell division jammed in the on position, the cells proliferate and create tumors. Given the gene’s central role in cancer, many drug companies jumped in to try and develop drugs to fix this broken switch.

Recommended Reading