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
Full of hot air and proud of it
18.04.2018 | University of Pittsburgh
Keeping the excitement under control
18.04.2018 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.
“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences