Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small molecules shed light on cancer therapies

23.08.2011
Patients suffering from an aggressive brain cancer will benefit from the results of a University of Illinois study that could advance the development of targeted gene therapies and improve prognosis.

"We have advanced the understanding of the role of microRNAs on glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly brain cancer, by studying the networks between the microRNAs and their target genes associated with different stages of cancer development and progression," said Kristin Delfino, a U of I doctoral candidate in animal science with a focus in genetics and bioinformatics.

What exactly are microRNAs? microRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that regulate the expression of genes such as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. U of I researchers used a novel approach to identify the simultaneous association between tens of thousands of microRNAs, target genes, and glioblastoma progression and survival.

Delfino integrated clinical information such as race, gender, therapy, survival, and cancer stage from 253 patients together with genome-wide microRNA and gene expression data.

"We looked at the big picture and how microRNAs work together," Delfino said. "When you look at a single microRNA alone, it can seem significant. But when you evaluate it in the context of all other microRNAs, some turn out to be more significant and others may not be as significant as they appear on their own. The systems biology approach that we implemented is critical for understanding the gene pathways influencing cancer."

The study evaluated 534 microRNAs together, unlike the typical method of studying one at a time. They confirmed 25 microRNAs previously associated with glioblastoma survival and identified 20 other microRNAs associated with initiation or growth of other cancer types such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and gastric adenocarcinoma.

"These findings suggest common pathways that can be targeted with similar drugs already developed and tested for other cancers," said Sandra Rodriguez Zas, co-researcher and U of I professor of animal science and bioinformatics.

In addition, researchers found that some of the microRNA biomarkers of survival are personalized, Rodriguez Zas said. This means that they are particularly useful for patients of a specific race, gender or therapy. Other microRNAs are equally effective regardless of the clinical conditions of the patient.

"These biomarkers can serve as the basis to dig deeper into cancer studies," Delfino said. "Cancer affects us all in one way or another. Unfortunately, we still don't know how it's caused, what takes place when it is caused and how to cure it. But these biomarkers give us guidance into developing specific gene therapies to target glioblastoma."

Today patients can easily and cheaply be screened for microRNA and target gene levels, Rodriguez Zas said.

"Based on our research, that information can be used to select the most effective therapy and develop prognosis strategies," Rodriguez-Zas said.

This study, "Therapy-, Gender- and Race-specific microRNA Markers, Target Genes and Networks Related to Glioblastoma Recurrence and Survival," was published in Cancer Genomics & Proteomics. Co-researchers include Kristin Delfino, Nicola Serao, Bruce Southey and Sandra Rodriguez Zas, all of the U of I.

Jennifer Shike | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>