Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of widespread tumour growth gene holds promise for effective anti-cancer treatment

24.09.2007
Italian scientists will announce today (Monday September 24) that they have found a new and promising target for anti-tumour therapy in cancer.

Professor Saverio Alberti, from the CESI, University of Chieti Foundation, Chieti, will tell the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) that he and his team have found a widespread mechanism for the stimulation of tumour growth in man, and that this is leading to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Professor Alberti and his team have discovered the function of the Trop-2 gene, a product of the TACTD2 gene, which is expressed in placenta, an ‘invasive’ normal tissue. “The function of Trop-2 was a mystery until now,” says Professor Alberti, “but knowing its expression in the trophoblast (cells forming the outer layer of the blastocyst – the stage between the fertilised egg and the embryo) during pregnancy, we thought that it might well be involved in another invasive function – tumour growth.”

The scientists analysed the genes in human tumours and found that Trop-2 was expressed in the vast majority of human cancers, for example, breast, colon, stomach, lung, prostate, ovary, endometrium, uterine cervix and pancreas. Over-expression of the Trop-2 gene was also found when immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of 1,755 tumours was undertaken. IHC analysis looks at the interaction of antibodies and antigens in tissues, and has the advantage of showing exactly where in a tissue a given protein is located. “This has allowed us to develop anti-Trop-2 monoclonal antibodies for immunotherapy (modulation of the immune system to reject and destroy tumours) of Trop-2 expressing tumours,” explains Professor Alberti.

... more about:
»Trop-2 »found »metastases

Trop-2 over-expression was found in between 65% and 90% of the tumour types analysed, with an average of 74% across the board. “These figures are high,” explains Professor Alberti. “In comparison, telomerase over-expression, possibly the most fundamental mechanism for cell immortalisation, is observed in 80% of all tumours. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds specific DNA repeats to the ends of chromosomes, so not strictly comparable. When we come to look at genes, her2/neu is a key determinant of breast cancer aggressiveness and is over-expressed in 25% of the cancers, and amplified in only a subgroup of them; and p53, possibly the most fundamental of tumour suppressors, is mutated and/or over-expressed in 50% of tumours. Mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) are relatively infrequent in most cancers, reach 30% of the non small-cell lung cancers and are present at frequencies of around 75% in only a small subgroup of the latter. Most other markers known to date show lower figures and/or can be detected at high frequency in only a subgroup of tumours, for example PSA in prostate cancer. So Trop-2 really stands out.”

“It is also a unique marker of cancer metastases in different tumour types – including colon, stomach, breast, and ovary in man – and across a number of species,” he says. In man, most metastases in lymph nodes or down-stream organs, for example liver in colon cancer, express higher levels of Trop-2 compared with the primary tumours. Trop-2 induces these metastases through mechanisms that the scientists are beginning to unravel. The most intriguing of these findings, they say, is the presence of two sequence elements in the Trop-2 cytoplasmic tail, the signalling engine of Trop-2, which act as, respectively, an enhancer and a silencer of metastatic propensity. This may be the key to the identification of signalling molecules that promote or inhibit the formation of metastases.

“If we can identify such molecules we will be approaching a situation where we could influence their activity and hence either encourage or prevent it,” says Professor Alberti. “This could be an important step towards stopping cancer in its tracks.”

In addition, the scientists want to extend their knowledge of the cell changes induced by receptor activation, or signal transduction pathways, triggered by Trop-2. “This will be crucial for the better understanding of the way in which tumour growth is regulated by the gene, and will also provide additional targets for anti-cancer drugs,” says Professor Alberti. “We are very excited about the prospects for therapy which we can see arising from this discovery.”

Mary Rice | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fecs.be

Further reports about: Trop-2 found metastases

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

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

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>