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
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy