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Plain English summary of "FGFR1 and FGFR2 in Fibrolamellar Carcinoma"

Growth factors are proteins that help cells multiply; cancer cells often hijack these proteins and their receptors to grow faster than normal cells. Recently, drugs have been developed to block a receptor for a specific kind of growth factor known as fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGRFs). Fibroblasts are cells that make up connective tissue and produce collagen. 

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FLHCC) is characterized by the presence of fibers of collagen in the tissue as well as a DNAJB1-PRKACA chimeric RNA transcript and protein resulting from a fusion at the DNA level. It is not yet known what this chimeric protein is targeting in the cell to drive the cancer, so there is no clear link between this chimeric protein and fibroblast growth factors or their receptors.

However, the authors of this paper wanted to establish whether the recently developed FGRF inhibitors would be useful to FLHCC patients. They looked at nineteen FLHCC samples that they verified with the confirmed presence of the FLHCC chimeric RNA transcript and determined through various methods that FGRF1 and FGRF2 are not significantly present in these FLHCC samples at the RNA transcript or protein level. Thus it is unlikely that FGRF inhibitors can effectively treat most FLHCC patients. ​ 

-- Melissa Jarmel, Rockefeller University