Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Van Andel Research Institute Finding is Potential Predictor of Deadly Cancer Common in Asia

Researchers from the United States, Singapore, and China partner to fight head and neck cancer nasopharyngeal carcinoma

In a study recently published in Cancer Research, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers found a protein that could help predict the spread of the head and neck cancer nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC); this protein could also serve as part of a treatment strategy to stop the spread of the disease.

Though uncommon in the United States, NPC is one of the most common malignant tumors in southern China and Southeast Asia with incidence rates nearly 25 times that of most of the rest of the world. VARI researchers worked with scientists in Singapore, China, and the United States on the study.

“This study does not just report another molecular marker for metastasis of nasopharyngeal cancer, these investigators have revealed an important process related to this molecule,” said Wei Zhang, Ph.D., Professor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “Characterization of this process will open diverse opportunities for effective inhibition of this novel target for cancer metastasis.”

NPC is the most common cancer originating in the nasopharynx area of the throat and has the highest metastasis rate among head and neck cancers. By the time patients are diagnosed, the disease has usually spread to lymph nodes or distant organs such as the liver.

Working together with physicians and scientists at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in China, VARI researchers found that the protein serglycin is a marker of metastasis for NPC. Higher levels of serglycin correlated with an unfavorable prognosis and the increased likelihood that cancer would spread to other parts of the body. Additionally, when researchers blocked the secretion of serglycin, it reduced the cells capacity to invade and metastasize, which could mean it may have potential as a therapeutic target to stop the spread of NPC.

“Serglycin is clearly important to metastasis in NPC, but there are other factors as well,” said Chao-Nan Qian, M.D. Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology at VARI. Qian also served as a medical expert for the “Healthy China 2020” healthcare reform plan. “Finding genes that cooperate with Serglycin that are also involved in metastasis could result in a comprehensive approach to treat NPC, and potentially help it from from spreading.”

Partners in the study included Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in China, National Cancer Center Singapore, the University of South China, Singapore General Hospital, and The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.

About Van Andel Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process. Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) is dedicated to strengthening science education and preparing and motivating individuals to pursue science or science-related professions. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), the research arm of VAI, is dedicated to probing the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of over 200 researchers in 18 on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. VARI is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute, (TGen), of Phoenix, Arizona.

Joe Gavan | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>