Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

To evade chemotherapy, some cancer cells mimic stem cells

21.09.2007
Anti-cancer treatments often effectively shrink the size of tumors, but some might have an opposite effect, actually expanding the small population of cancer stem cells believed to drive the disease, according to findings presented today in Atlanta, Georgia at the American Association for Cancer Research’s second International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

“Our experiments suggest that some treatments could be producing more cancer stem cells that then are capable of metastasizing, because these cells are trying to find a way to survive the therapy,” said one of the study’s investigators, Vasyl Vasko, M.D. Ph.D., a pathologist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

“This may help explain why the expression of stem cell markers has been associated with resistance to chemotherapy and radiation treatments and poor outcome for patients with cancers including prostate, breast and lung cancers,” Dr. Vasko said. “That tells us that understanding how to target these markers and these cells could prove useful in treating these cancers.”

The cancer stem cell markers include Nanog and BMI1, both of which contribute to stem cells’ defining ability to renew themselves and differentiate into different cell types, Dr. Vasko said. These same molecules are found in embryonic stem cells.

... more about:
»Marker »Stem »Vasko »chemotherapy »stem cells

Researchers have recently debated the notion that some therapies are not capable of eradicating cancer because they do not target the cancer stem cells responsible for tumor development. To test this hypothesis, Dr. Vasko, along with scientists from the CRTRC Institute for Drug Development in San Antonio and from the Johns Hopkins University, set out to measure both stem cells markers and tumor volume before and after treatment in a mouse model.

They selected a rare form of cancer, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma (MCS), which has not been well described and for which there is no effective treatment. The researchers first determined that Nanog and BMI1 stem cell markers were more highly expressed in metastatic tumors compared to primary tumors. “This suggests that expression of the marker plays some role in development of metastasis,” Dr. Vasko said.

They then applied various therapies - from VEGF inhibitors such as Avastin to the proteasome inhibitor Velcade - in mice implanted with human MSC, and analyzed the effects on tumors. Some of the treatments seemed to work, because they led to a dramatic decrease in the size of the tumors, Dr. Vasko said. But analysis of stem cell expression before and after treatment revealed that even as some anti-cancer treatments shrank tumors, they increased expression of Nanog and BMI1. “These treatments were not enough to completely inhibit tumor growth, and the cancer stem cell markers were still present,” Dr. Vasko said.

Use of the agents Velcade and Docetaxel led to the most significant increase in stem cell markers within the treated tumor, while ifosfamide and Avastin inhibited expression of the markers in this cancer subtype.

“We hypothesize that the tumor escapes from chemotherapy by induction of stem cell marker expression,” he said. “The small number of cells that survive the treatment could then generate another tumor that metastasizes.”

Dr. Vasko doesn’t know how this happens, but theorizes that “dying cells could secrete a lot of factors that induce expression of stem cell markers in other cancer cells. I think they are trying to survive and they use a mechanism from their experience of embryonic life.”

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aacr.org

Further reports about: Marker Stem Vasko chemotherapy stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>