Professor Philip Rudland, Dr Guozheng Wang and Dr Roger Barraclough from the University’s Cancer and Polio Research Fund Laboratories have discovered an additional member of the S100 family of protein genes – S100P – that causes the spread of cancerous cells from an original tumour to other parts of the body.
If present in the primary tumour, metastagenes such as S100P trigger the rapid spread of cancerous secondary tumours to other tissues in the body via the bloodstream – a process known as metastasis. Although primary tumours can be removed surgically, secondary tumours are more difficult to control. This research has been funded by the Cancer and Polio Research Fund.
The new discovery builds on several years’ work carried out at the University to investigate the genes that cause cancerous tumours to travel to other tissues in the body. To date, three other metastasis-inducing genes have been discovered – S100A4, osteopontin, and more recently, AGR2.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often the only options available to treat secondary tumours but these procedures can be problematic to the patient as they can damage other healthy tissue and do not always succeed in eradicating the cancer.
S100P is commonly found in ten different types of normal tissue including the placenta, spleen, colon, ovary, prostate, lung and heart. Scientists believe proteins like S100P function in healthy tissue by increasing the movement of white blood cells around the body. If the protein is found in a cancerous tumour however, it causes the tumour to spread to other tissues.
Professor Rudland said: “It is the spread of cancer from the initial tumour that is the key contributor to death of a cancer patient. Metastagenes are fundamental to this process and can be found in most common cancers, including breast, lung and colon. If these genes are over-expressed in the cancerous tumour, early death of the patient is much more likely.
“The next major step is to develop drugs that will switch off the action of these genes. If we can do this, we can stop the spread of the primary tumour and therefore improve the chances of survival for patients.
“We are grateful for the support given by the Cancer and Polio Research Fund.”
The research is published in the current edition of Cancer Research.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences