Scientists of the Cluster of Excellence CECAD, University of Cologne, have developed a new strategy for cancer treatment.
Tumor growth is dependent on attracting blood vessels, that supply nutrients and oxygen and dispose of metabolic waste. An insufficient blood supply results in significantly reduced tumor growth.
The poisoning of the mitochondria, the cell´s power-plants, inhibits blood vessel growth, but has no effects on existing vessels. For this purpose the scientists used the weak mitochondrial poison Embelin. Selective inhibition of mitochondrial function could represent a fundamentally new therapeutic approach that may help advance the development of cancer treatments.
Cologne, 2014, March 20. A team of researchers from five CECAD departments led by PD Dr. Hamid Kashkar (University Hospital of Cologne, Institute of Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene) and Dr. Oliver Coutelle (University Hospital of Cologne, Department of Internal Medicine I) have found a new principle for the treatment of proliferating solid tumors.
Tumors are highly dependent on the growth of blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen and excreting CO2 and metabolic waste products. Accordingly, the inhibition of tumor blood vessels by blocking specific vascular growth factors is a strategy that is already being used successfully to treat tumors today.
In close collaboration with Dr. Hue-Tran Hornig-Do and Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wiesner (University Hospital of Cologne, Institut of Vegetative Physiology), the CECCAD team reports in a recent article in EMBO Mol Med, that Embelin, a substance that is used in African traditional medicine, inhibits vessel growth by a novel mechanism.
They showed that Embelin acts as a weak poison for mitochondria, the power plants of cells. They demonstrated that growing blood vessels – but not resting normal blood vessels – are highly dependent on mitochondrial function and have little capacity to compensate for mitochondrial dysfunction induced by Embelin. Together their findings show that Embelin significantly slowed the growth of tumors by inhibiting their blood supply, but had little effect on existing normal blood vessels and other tissues at the concentrations required.
The study was supported by further research in collaboration with Prof. Sabine Eming (University of Cologne, Dermatology). Wound healing experiments demonstrated delayed closure of wounds in the presence of Embelin due to the lack of blood vessel in-growth, providing additional evidence for the effectiveness of Embelin in inhibiting new blood vessel formation.
Experiments in cooperation with Prof. Aleksandra Trifunovic ( CECAD) provide additional support for the dependence of new blood vessels on adequate mitochondrial function. In particular, mitochondrial dysfunction induced by mutation in mitochondrial DNA severely impaired the capacity for vascularisation of implanted artificial plugs, designed to attract new blood vessels.
In summary, the scientists were able to prove that impairment of mitochondrial function provides a fundamentally new approach to inhibit blood vessel growth in solid tumors with little side effects on normal body functions. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wiesner: „We all feel excited about this new principle that will provide new approaches in the fight against cancer.“
Dr. Oliver Coutelle
PD Dr. Hamid Kashkar
Leiterin CECAD PR & Marketing
Tel. + 49 (0) 221-478-84043
Astrid Bergmeister | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
MACC1 Gene Is an Independent Prognostic Biomarker for Survival in Klatskin Tumor Patients
31.08.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg
The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.
Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
01.09.2015 | Press release
01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences
01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences