Researchers have found that the retinoblastoma protein, which is associated with reduced risk of cancer, is less active in the neurons of men than women, a difference that is believed to contribute to faster tumor growth in men. The team also found disabling the protein in female neurons increases the likelihood of developing cancer, according to the study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. "These results suggest we need to go back and look at multiple pathways linked to cancer, checking for sex differences. Sex-based distinctions at the level of the cell may not only influence cancer risk but also the effectiveness of treatments," said researcher Dr. Joshua Rubin.
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