Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research in fish provides new clues about deadly form of liver cancer

05.07.2011
Scientists fish for answers about hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Although there are several treatment options available, they are largely unsuccessful because the disease is so poorly understood.

Clinical studies of patients with HCC, combined with studies using mice and other animal models, have provided some clues, but many questions about how to diagnose and treat this deadly form of cancer remain. Zhiyuan Gong and Serguei Parinov from the National University of Singapore decided to pursue these questions using zebrafish as a model system.

Their study uncovers new information that might help to diagnose and treat HCC in humans, and shows that zebrafish are a powerful and cost-effective model to study liver cancer. Gong and Parinov publish their results in Disease Models & Mechanisms on July 5th, 2011 at http://dmm.biologists.org/.

Previous work indicated that cancer cells from patients with HCC always have abnormally high activation of a cellular pathway called Ras. However, whether and how the Ras pathway actually causes liver cancer was not clear. To focus in on this issue, Gong and Parinov generated zebrafish that are genetically engineered to express a cancer-causing form of Ras (krasV12) in the liver.

Fish that had the highest expression of krasV12 all died rapidly of malignant liver cancer (mostly within 30 days), whereas fish with lower krasV12 expression survived for longer and did not develop full-blown liver cancer. These results suggest that only very high levels of Ras pathway activation can cause HCC.

The researchers also uncovered abnormalities in several other cellular pathways in zebrafish that developed liver cancer, and genetic studies confirmed that the progression of disease happens similarly in zebrafish and humans. This allowed the researchers to establish a 'genetic signature' for HCC, which could potentially be translated into a method for diagnosing the disease in humans. In addition, the stage of cancer is an important factor in determining how patients should be treated. In this study, the researchers determined genetic signatures that were specific to early- and late-stage liver cancer, which might help in planning treatment regimes for patients with HCC.

These new findings using a zebrafish model of HCC should help to guide studies of this complex cancer in humans. Although validation studies in patients with HCC are required, this work provides new evidence that drugs targeting the Ras pathway are a promising avenue for therapy.

IF REPORTING ON THIS STORY, PLEASE MENTION DISEASE MODELS & MECHANISMS AS THE SOURCE AND, IF REPORTING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A LINK TO: http://dmm.biologists.org/

REFERENCE: Nguyen, A. T., Emelyanov, A., Koh, C. H. V., Spitsbergen, J. M., Lam, S. H., Mathavan, S., Parinov, S. and Gong, Z. Dis. Model. Mech. doi:10.1242/dmm.007831

This article is posted on this site to give advance access to other authorised media who may wish to report on this story. Full attribution is required, and if reporting online a link to dmm.biologists.com is also required. The story posted here is COPYRIGHTED. Therefore advance permission is required before any and every reproduction of each article in full. PLEASE CONTACT permissions@biologists.com

Sarah Allan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biologists.com
http://dmm.biologists.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>