A report on the work by BCM researchers with fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 appears today in the journal Cancer Cell.
“Since we are manipulating the target gene itself, we can ask, what will happen" If we turn it off, what happens" That recapitulates the effect of a specific drug,” said Dr. David Spencer, professor of immunology at BCM. “By turning the gene on and off at various time points, we can define a ‘susceptibility window’ for that drug, a time in the progression of the disease when the gene would be an appropriate target.”
That therapeutic “window” defines the time when shutting off the gene would also shut down progression of the cancer. Previous studies show that fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 may have a role in initiating prostate cancer, he said. As a result, some companies have developed drugs designed to block the receptor. Spencer’s work looks at what would happen if the receptor is blocked.
In his mouse, he used a synthetic drug that turned the re-engineered fibroblast growth factor receptor on. As the gene product was activated, the prostate gland began dramatic, synchronized changes characteristic of cancer. However, when he withdrew the drug that turned the receptor on, the changes reversed over several weeks until the prostate gland appeared normal.
However, at a certain point, changes in the tissue reach a point of no-return and transform in to a kind of cancer called adenocarcinoma that does not appear to be reversible, although withdrawing the drug can slow the cancer, too.
During this study, Spencer, his graduate student, Victor Acevedo and their colleagues also studied the changes prostate cells undergo while they spread outside the gland and into surrounding tissue. Understanding the events that take place in cells during the transition from normal to cancer can provide important clues about cancer and potential treatments.
From this study, he has identified some of the genes involved in the transition from normal prostate cells within a secretory gland to more migratory, malignant cells outside the gland. Using special gene chips called tumor microarrays, they have also discovered the up regulation or increase in cellular levels of Fzd4, a gene that might prove to be a new marker for human prostate cancer.
“Victor started out looking for a role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 in prostate cancer progression and ended up with a new cancer marker and a model for epithelial cell plasticity, rounding out his productive thesis,” Spencer added.
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17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
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17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses