Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk

17.08.2007
A protein that dwindles in response to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle may one day help doctors predict which people are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer, new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborating scientists indicates.

In a report in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer Research, the investigators found that, in a large study group, people with the lowest blood levels of a protein called IGFBP-1 were twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those with higher levels. Though much work remains to determine if the protein -- whose acronym stands for insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 -- is a reliable indicator of pancreatic cancer risk, the finding adds to the scientific understanding of how the disease develops.

"The levels of insulin and another circulating hormone, insulin-like growth factor or IGF, are modified by obesity and sedentary lifestyle, and there is evidence that these hormones may stimulate the growth of pancreatic cancer cells," said the study's lead author, Brian Wolpin, MD, of Dana-Farber. "When IGF binds to proteins like IGFBP-1, there may be less IGF available to bind to pancreatic cancer cells and promote their growth. We wanted to determine whether IGFBP-1 levels in the blood were associated with pancreatic cancer risk."

The investigators measured circulating IGFBP-1 levels in a select group of participants in four large, ongoing health studies: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Nurses' Health Study, the Physicians' Health Study, and the Women's Health Initiative. They collected blood samples from 573 participants and, four or more years later, checked IGFBP-1 levels in the samples of 144 people who developed pancreatic cancer and 429 who did not.

They found that the quarter of the group whose IGFBP-1 levels were lowest had twice the risk of developing pancreatic cancer of those in the top three quarters. The connection became even stronger over time: Among cases diagnosed at least eight years after blood collection, those in the bottom quarter of IGFBP-1 levels had nearly three-and-a-half times the pancreatic cancer risk of those in the upper quarters.

The risk may be elevated because higher amounts of IGFBP-1 are able to "soak up" more IGF, leaving less available to spur pancreatic cancer cell growth, or because IGFBP-1 has some cancer-blocking properties of its own, said Wolpin, who is also an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Another possibility is that other molecules may be involved, for which IGFBP-1 acts as an intermediary.

"It's known that a variety of proteins are affected by obesity and sedentary lifestyle," he added. "Studies are exploring whether a subset of these may play a role in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. More research is also needed on how alterations in insulin and proteins in the IGF family alter the risk of this difficult disease."

Bill Schaller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dfci.harvard.edu

Further reports about: Cancer IGF IGFBP-1 blood develop pancreatic pancreatic cancer

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>