Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Colorectal Cancer - MDC Researchers Identify Genetic Markers for Metastasis Formation

01.07.2009
Previously, only a few genes had been associated with the formation of metastases in colorectal cancer.

Now, researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Germany, have identified 115 genes that are disregulated both in the primary tumor and in its metastases.

In the future, their findings may help identify patients with aggressive tumors at an earlier stage (Gastroenterology 2009, doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.041).*

The National Cancer Institute estimates that, alone in the United States, 106,100 cases of colon cancer will occur and 49,920 patients will die both from colon and rectal cancer in 2009.

Beginning in glands in the bowel lining, colorectal cancer often remains undiscovered initially. "However, the main problem is not the primary tumor," explained the surgeon and clinical researcher Dr. Johannes Fritzmann, "but the dangerous metastases."

Metastases arise when single cells break off from the primary tumor and spread to other body regions via the blood vessels or the lymphatic system. In colorectal cancer, these cells usually settle in the liver, lungs, or lymph nodes. Since the affected patient seldom feels pain or shows other symptoms, the tumor is frequently not discovered until it has already formed metastases.

To investigate which genetic mutations favor the formation of metastases, the researchers analyzed 150 tissue samples of colorectal cancer patients with and without metastases. The researchers identified 115 genes that are falsely regulated in both the primary tumors and their metastases. In this way, the researchers succeeded in identifying a genetic signature which distinguishes tumors with metastatic potential from those that do not metastasize.

Of the 115 genes the researchers identified, they focused on one gene in particular: BAMBI. They discovered that this gene is more active in metastatic tumors and metastases than in non-metastatic tumors.

"Our investigations show that the particular gene BAMBI is associated with two import signaling pathways and thus promotes metastasis formation," Dr. Fritzmann said. "These signaling pathways (Wnt and TGF-beta) are, among other things, important in the developing embryo."

In the future the researchers want to investigate the role of the other 114 genes more closely, in order to better understand the individual steps of metastasis formation.

Aim - To predict at an early stage whether the tumor will spread
Dr. Fritzmann hopes the research findings will help determine early on whether a tumor has metastatic potential. The doctors could then adapt the therapy accordingly.

*A Colorectal Cancer Expression Profile that Includes Transforming Growth Factor ß Inhibitor BAMBI Predicts Metastatic Potential

Johannes Fritzmann1,2,6, Markus Morkel1,4,6, Daniel Besser1,6, Jan Budczies3, Frauke Kosel1, Felix H. Brembeck1,5, Ulrike Stein1,2, Iduna Fichtner1, Peter M. Schlag1,2 and Walter Birchmeier1

1Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany
2Dept. for Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Charité - University Medical School, 13125 Berlin, Germany
3Institute for Pathology, Charité - University Medical School, 10117 Berlin, Germany
4present address: Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, 14195 Berlin, Germany
5present address: Dept. of Hematology and Oncology, University Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany

6 contributed equally.

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>