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 | idw
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences