Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Primrose oil component cuts levels of cancer-causing gene Her-2/neu

02.11.2005


Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a substance in evening primrose oil and several other plant oils used in herbal medicine, inhibits action of Her-2/neu, a cancer gene that is responsible for almost 30 percent of all breast cancers, Northwestern University researchers report.



"Breast cancer patients with Her-2/neu-positive tumors have an aggressive form of the disease and a poor prognosis," said Ruth Lupu, director of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Breast Cancer Translational Research Program, who led the study, published in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Lupu is professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a researcher at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.


Lupu and co-investigator Javier Menendez showed that treating cancer cells that overexpressed Her-2/neu with GLA not only suppressed protein levels of the oncogene, but also caused a 30- to 40-fold increased response in breast cancer cells to the drug HerpetinTM (trastuzumab), a monoclonal antibody that is used for the treatment of many women with breast cancer.

Menendez is research assistant professor of medicine at Feinberg and a scientist at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute.

"In our tests, treating the cancer cell lines with both GLA and Herceptin led to a synergistic increase in apoptosis [cell death] and reduced cancer growth. Therefore, although further studies are necessary before GLA can enter clinical trials, these findings may reveal a previously unrecognized way of influencing the poor outcome of Her-2/neu-positive cancer patients," Lupu said. "GLA’s inhibition of Her-2/neu works in a different manner from that of Herceptin," Menendez said.

"While Herceptin attempts to neutralize thousands of Her-2/neu molecules commonly found in the surface of overexpressing cancer cells, GLA would be more efficient to reduce Her-2/neu levels by preventing the transcription of few Her-2/neu gene copies," Menendez said. "Considering that activation and overexpression of the Her-2/neu oncogene are crucial events in the cause, progression and cell sensitivity to various treatments in breast cancer, results of the study showed reveal a valuable means by which an inexpensive herbal medicine might regulate might regulate breast cancer cell growth, metastasis formation and response to chemotherapies and endocrine therapies," Lupu said.

GLA exerts selective toxic effects on cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Menendez’s earlier research showed that supplementation with GLA sensitizes breast cancer cells to some chemotherapeutic drugs, such as paclitaxel (TaxolTM), docetaxel (TaxotereTM) and vinorelbine (NavelbineTM). Lupu and Menendez recently demonstrated that GLA also enhances the efficacy of anti-estrogens, such as tamoxifen and FaslodexTM.

"Since overexpression of Her-2/neu generally confers resistance to chemo- and endocrine therapies, our current findings can explain why GLA increases the efficacy of breast cancer treatments," Menendez said.

GLA is one of two essential fatty acids – fats that are necessary for maintaining normal functioning and growth of cells, nerves, muscles and organs. Besides evening primrose oil, other sources of GLAs include borage oil and black current seed oil.

Besides Menendez, other authors on the study were Luciano Vellon, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute; and Ramon Colomer, head of the medical oncology division at the Institut Catala d’Oncologia, Girona, Spain.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>