Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Supposed Help Against Tumors - How Tumor Cells Use the Body's Protection

05.12.2008
Glioblastoma is one of the most common but also most aggressive brain tumors, almost invariably leading to death in a short time. It consists of different cell types and their precursors, complicating successful treatment.

To fight the driving force of the tumor - the tumor stem cells - scientists have been trying to initiate apoptosis in these cells. However, Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany) suspects that the activated apoptosis program accelerates the progress of the disease. "The tumor growth declines when apoptosis is blocked," she reported at the conference "Brain Tumor 2008" at the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany.

Glioblastomas grow like corals and form filigran branches into nearby, healthy brain tissue. For that reason it is very difficult for neurosurgeons to remove the tumor entirely because the risk of damaging healthy tissue is too high. Moreover, glioblastomas are resistant to conventional therapies which normally activate the body's apoptosis program.

This programmed cell death is a vital process. It plays an important role during development but also in the adult organism. Together with its partner CD95L, the molecular switch CD95 ensures that sick or abnormal cells are removed. Once activated, CD95 triggers a chain of different signals which in the end lead to the death of the damaged cell. Until recently, scientists were convinced that triggering apoptosis in brain tumors was a useful tool for not only killing the tumor but also the cells of its origin - the tumor stem cells.

The scientist from Heidelberg could show that CD95 as well as its partner CD95L is active in the tumor cells. However, the cells do not die. "Instead, the signal stimulates the tumor cells to migrate into neighboring, healthy brain regions," Dr. Martin-Villalba explained. For instance, it activates the protein MMP which "drills" its way into the brain tissue. "Contrary to our expectations," the neuroscientist said, "what we find when we activate apoptosis in the tumor cells is that we help them spread into healthy nerve tissue."

In experiments with mice, the researchers could already show that the tumor proliferates less aggressively when they block CD95L with an antibody, thus inhibiting the activation of programmed cell death. "With this changed perspective, we hope to develop new ideas for tumor therapy in the future," Dr. Martin-Villalba said.

Altogether, about 180 scientists and clinicians from Europe and the USA came to the two-day conference, which ended this Friday afternoon. The organizers were the MDC, the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and HELIOS Kliniken GmbH, Berlin, a private clinic in Berlin-Buch.

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10; 13125 Berlin; Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | idw
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/
http://www.dkfz-heidelberg.de/en/molekulare-neurobiologie/index.html
http://www.cell.com/cancer-cell/retrieve/pii/S1535610808000433

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment
17.10.2017 | McMaster University

nachricht Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes
17.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>