Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study pinpoints and plugs mechanism of AML cancer cell escape

19.01.2012
A study published this week in the journal Leukemia identifies a mechanism that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells use to evade chemotherapy – and details how to close this escape route.
“Introducing chemotherapy to cells is like putting a curve in front of a speeding car,” says Christopher Porter, MD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Cells that can put on the brakes make it around the corner and cells that can’t speed off the track.”

Porter and colleagues collaborated with James DeGregori, PhD, CU Cancer Center investigator and professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the CU School of Medicine to define a molecular braking process that AML cells use to survive the curves of chemotherapy. They also showed that when this molecular brake is removed, AML cells (but not their healthy neighbors) die on the corners.

The discovery of this escape route and how to plug it provides hope for survival for a greater proportion of the estimated 12,950 people diagnosed with AML every year in the United States.

The group’s findings rely on the relatively new technique of functional genomic screening of AML cells, accomplished by the CU Cancer Center Functional Genomics Shared Resource at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Using techniques they developed, the group turned off a different gene in each of a population of AML cells all at once. Then they hit all cells with chemotherapy traditionally used for AML. The goal: to see which genes, when turned off, would make the cells especially susceptible to chemo.

In this study, which generated over 30 million data points, cells that lacked a gene to make something called WEE1 died in disproportionate numbers. When you turn off WEE1, cancer cells die.

“WEE1 is the brakes,” Porter says. “With chemotherapy we introduce DNA damage in cancer cells – we push them toward the curve hopefully at a greater rate than healthy cells. If WEE1 is there, cancer cells can round the curve. Without it, they flip.”

Hidden in Porter’s words is an element that makes this an especially exciting finding: AML cells may be more dependent than are healthy cells on WEE1. And so when you inhibit WEE1, you strip the brakes from cancer cells but not their healthy neighbors, killing AML cells but leaving healthy cells able to corner on rails.

“I’m optimistic that this will eventually lead to a therapeutic regimen that allows us to target AML cells that have escaped conventional therapies,” Porter says.

Porter calls the team’s initial results combining a drug that inhibits WEE1 with chemotherapy in mouse models of AML, “extremely promising.”

“In light of these data, we are already early in the clinical trial planning process,” Porter says.

This work was supported by the Colorado Golfers Against Cancer and the AMC Cancer Fund, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the National Cancer Institute through the University of Colorado Cancer Center (3P30CA046934-22S).

Garth Sundem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

Further reports about: AML Cancer Colorado river Medicine WEE1 cancer cells healthy cell leukemia molecular genetic mouse model

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>