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 Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>