Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


IL-34: a new, possible target to tackle drug-resistant cancer cells


A team of researchers has discovered that chemoresistant lung cancer cells suppress immune functions and strengthen resistance to chemotherapy by producing interleukin-34 (IL-34)—a type of cytokine.

Chemotherapy is one of the most important treatments for many cancer patients. In recent years, chemotherapies that target the immune system have been developed, resulting in remarkable advances in cancer treatments. However, the ability of tumor cells to escape immune destruction and acquire resistance to chemotherapy remain major obstacles to effective cancer therapy.

Expression of IL-34 (brown) in human primary lung adenocarcinoma tissue. IL-34 expression correlated with poor prognosis in cancer patients and was found to enhance local immunosuppression by tumor-associated macrophages, and also provides cancer cells with a critical survival signal to overcome chemotherapeutic conditions. (Baghdadi M. et. al., Sep 30, 2016, Cancer Research)

Chemoresistant cancer cells secrete IL-34, which induces production of immunosuppressive macrophages and enhances chemoresistance of the cancer cells.

It is known that immunosuppressive macrophages accumulate at tumor sites where the tumor cells have become resistant to chemotherapy. Assistant Professor Muhammad Baghdadi, Lecturer Haruka Wada and Professor Ken-ichiro Seino of the Division of Immunobiology at Hokkaido University’s Institute for Genetic Medicine, conducted research with collaborators based on a theory that chemoresistant tumor cells produce an unidentified substance that increases tumor-associated macrophages, thus enhancing their resistance to chemotherapy.

In the latest research, the team cultivated chemosensitive A549-DS, made from A549 lung cancer cells, together with the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin, to create doxorubicin-resistant A549-DR. The researchers examined the two cells, finding a large amount of IL-34 was produced in the A549-DR, but not in the A549-DS.

They also found that the IL-34 produced by A549-DR contributed to the production of immunosuppressive macrophages. Furthermore, their experiment showed that IL-34 enhanced the chemoresistance of A549-DR.

In experiments using mice, researchers found that A549-DR was resistant to the chemotherapeutic drug when transplanted in mice, while A549-DR with depleted IL-34 became sensitive to the same drug, suggesting that IL-34 enhanced chemoresistance in the animal body.

Furthermore, researchers discovered high levels of IL-34 in tumors removed from several lung cancer patients. They also examined the prognoses of post-operative patients—studying those with, and those without IL-34 in their tumors, finding that the former’s prognoses were poorer than the latter’s.

“Currently, there are only a few options to treat chemoresistant tumors.,” Professor Seino said. “This latest finding could make it possible to develop a new therapy, which targets IL-34, to treat chemoresistant cancer cells”.

The research was jointly conducted with Kanagawa Cancer Center, Shiga University of Medical Science, and the University of Tokyo.

Professor Ken-ichiro Seino
Division of Immunobiology, Institute for Genetic Medicine
Hokkaido University

Naoki Namba (Media Officer)
Global Relations Office
Office of International Affairs
Hokkaido University

Associated links

Journal information

Baghdadi M. et. al., Chemotherapy-induced IL-34 enhances immunosuppression by tumor-associated macrophages and mediates survival of chemoresistant lung cancer cells. Sep 30, 2016, Cancer Research. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472

Hokkaido University | Research SEA

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

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...

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

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>