Two genetic mutations in liver cells may drive tumor formation in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), the second most common form of liver cancer, according to a research published in the July issue of the journal Nature.
A team led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Harvard Medical School has discovered a link between the presence of two mutant proteins IDH1 and IDH2 and cancer. Past studies have found IDH mutations to be among the most common genetic differences seen in patients with iCCA, but how they contribute to cancer development was unknown going into the current effort.
iCCA strikes bile ducts, tube-like structures in the liver that carry bile, which is required for the digestion of food. With so much still unknown about the disease, there is no first-line, standard of care and no successful therapies.
"iCCA is resistant to standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation," said Josep Maria Llovet, MD, Director of the Liver Cancer Program, Division of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and contributing author. "Understanding the molecular mechanism of the disease is the key to finding a treatment that works."
Dr. Llovet and colleagues demonstrated that the expression of mutant IDH in the adult liver of genetically engineered mice impairs liver cell development and liver regeneration – a process in which the liver responds to injury – and increases the number of cells to form a tumor. Moreover, mutant IDH were found to work with activated KRAS, a gene essential in cancer development, causing the development of premalignant lesions and a progression to metastatic iCCA.
"Our findings provide novel insights into the development iCCA and offers a possible treatment option for patients suffering from this fatal disease," said Dr. Llovet.
By pinpointing one pathway of iCCA, this study opens up a new line of investigation to identify biomarkers of the disease. Already, Phase 1 clinical trials are being conducted with specific IDH1/2 mutations. The hope is that results of these and future studies can help doctors make life-saving decisions for their patients.
This study was conducted through partnerships with Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; HCC Translational Research Laboratory, Barcelona-Clínic Liver Cancer Group, Liver Unit, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Gastrointestinal Surgery and Liver Transplantation Unit, National Cancer Institute, and Department of Experimental Oncology, Milan, Italy; Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; Agios Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA; Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; and the University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.
For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Lucia Lee | Eurek Alert!
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy