Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of new biological principle can give better cancer treatment

13.09.2004


Pioneering research on leukaemia cells can have identified their vulnerable spot. This new knowledge can now be used to produce more effective medicines.



A group of scientists at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital made a surprising discovery when they stimulated leukaemia cells with the growth hormone GM-CSF. The reaction of the cells surprised everyone and would seem to indicate that scientists in Bergen have uncovered a new biological principle and consequently, a new therapeutic goal.

"We shouted, and expected to get one reply, but what we got was a bellow from an entire football team," says Project Leader Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, who was recently presented in the renowned American periodical Cell.


Hugely important discovery for cancer patients

Cell membranes contain receptors that are stimulated by a number of environmental factors, among them hormones. This starts a chain reaction between proteins that can in cancer cells result in increased production of substances that hamper necrocytosis (cell death) and encourage cancer. A mutation in receptor Flt3 and how this activates the chain reaction has previously been paid a lot of attention. In the tests carried out by Gjertsen and his fellow scientists, it was the GM-CSF receptor that captured their attention. Patients with Flt3 mutation showed an enormous reaction, in proteins that should in principle be normal. This indicates that the attack should be mounted here, if one is to find effective but gentle methods of cancer treatment.

"We have used tests from thirty patients with an acute type of spinal leukaemia. Compared to young people with lymphatic leukaemia, these patients have little chance of recovery. Life expectancy without treatment is about 2-3 months and only 20 percent are cured by chemotherapy. The study results can in principle also be applied to other types of cancer cells, so these results can prove to be of great importance for future cancer sufferers," says Gjertsen.

In this particular research project, Gjertsen has collaborated with colleagues from Stanford University and also several from the research milieu in Bergen, including Randi Hovland and Øystein Bruserud. With support from the cancer association, Bruserud has over the last twelve years, collected an invaluable bank of leukaemia tests. The Americans were contacted because they have developed a quick method for looking at the activation of proteins with the help of an antibody produced by mice.

"We have invaluable profiles that give us a comprehensive picture of what happens inside the cells. In spite of the huge amount of scientific research on cancer during the last ten years, there have been few important clinical results. This is mainly due to the fact that we have turned one stone at a time and studied the building blocks of the cancer cells individually. In system biology we try to look for patterns so that we can get a complete and realistic overall picture," says Gjertsen, "and adds that the use of cells collected from patients, and not static cell lines, can be the only way to get secure results."

The collaboration now continues with unabated strength, searching for energized key cancer proteins that lie under the signal line studied in the Cell article.

Bjørn Tore Gjertsen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helse-bergen.no
http://www.forskningsradet.no

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Maelstroms in the heart
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation

nachricht Decoding the structure of the huntingtin protein
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>