Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New cancer-fighting strategy focuses on signaling molecules

25.02.2010
Cancer researchers studying the immune system have identified a previously unrecognized set of targets and biomarkers to battle solid tumors.

The findings center on discovery of signaling molecules that are major players in a biochemical mechanism linking certain actions of B cells to solid tumor growth.

The most notable implication of the study is that a drug in use for more than decade to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer of the B cells, might be effective against other solid tumors, says lead author Lisa Coussens, PhD, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“This is paradigm shifting,” emphasizes Coussens, who is a pioneer in studying the role of molecular regulation in cellular inflammation that is linked to development of cancer. “The discoveries open up our thinking to many new signaling molecules as potential therapeutic targets.’’

The research is published online and in print by the scientific journal “Cancer Cell” (vol.17, issue 2, http://www.cell.com/cancer-cell/current).

“These are very significant findings because they suggest that Rituxan, a drug that we already are familiar with, could have very broad clinical implications in the treatment of some solid tumors,’’ says Coussens, who also is a professor in the UCSF Department of Pathology and co-director of the Mouse Pathology Core and Program in Cancer, Immunity and Microenvironment.

The researchers found that a class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin G and the receptors to which they bind play a key role in the link between B cells and solid tumor growth. Called FcRgamma, these receptors are found on cells of the innate immune system (including mast cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells). The activation of FcRgamma plays a part in recruiting circulating immune cells to neoplastic (abnormal) tissue, which in turn enhances development of new blood vessels to feed nutrients to growing tumors and to advance progression to malignant cancer.

Most tumors are rife with activated immune cells, says Coussens, but their role in the development of cancer has been largely overlooked.

The findings may lead to more successful treatment of certain solid tumors by combining chemotherapy with drugs that can thwart cancer-promoting activities of the immune system, according to Coussens. For instance, the drug Rituxan has relatively few side effects, she adds.

As a result of the molecular discovery, Coussens is collaborating with pharmaceutical industry experts to explore new therapeutic strategies. Preclinical testing of the combination approach is underway involving therapies similar to Rituxan and chemotherapy, and initial results “look promising,’’ says Coussens.

At UCSF, the Coussens lab focuses on the role of inflammatory cells and leukocyte proteases as critical regulators of skin, lung and breast cancer development. During the early development of cancer, many physiological processes occur in the vicinity of young tumor cells that are similar to processes that occur during embryonic development and to healing of wounds in adult tissue.

By studying mouse models of skin, lung and breast cancer development, the Coussens lab is identifying important molecules involved in regulating tumor-associated inflammation, angiogenesis, and cancer development. Identification of these important regulatory mechanisms reveals drug-targets that can then be used to design novel therapeutic strategies for treating cancer development in humans.

Biochemical and cellular studies during the past decade have shown that inflammation can promote the development of cancer. In addition, certain chronic inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, prostatitis, asbestosis and Barrett’s esophagus, are associated with an elevated cancer risk.

Discoveries over the last decade have made clear that “Chronic inflammation in the context of tumor development is associated with a poor prognosis,’’ says Coussens.

Other study authors include Pauline Andreu, PhD; Magnus Johansson, PhD; Nesrine I. Affara, PhD, and David DeNardo, PhD, postdoctoral scholars in the Coussens laboratory and in the Department of Pathology.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Elizabeth Fernandez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>