Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unlocking the body’s defences against cancer

26.08.2009
Scientists have discovered a way of allowing healthy cells to take charge of cancerous cells and stop them developing into tumours in what could provide a new approach to treating early-stage cancers.

University of Manchester researchers found that a special type of the chemicals known as ‘kinase inhibitors’ opened up communication channels on the surface of cells that enabled healthy cells to ‘talk’ to the cancer cells.

“When we added the chemicals to a mixture of healthy and cancerous cells in a flask the diseased cells stopped multiplying and began acting like normal cells again,” said Dr Ian Hampson, who carried out the research with wife Dr Lynne Hampson.

“Further tests revealed that the chemicals helped the cancer cells form connections with surrounding healthy cells that allowed these normal cells to take charge of the mechanism by which cancer cells divide and grow out of control.”

Cell division occurs naturally and continuously in human organs and tissue as part of the body’s normal repair processes to combat wear and tear but in cancer the cells divide in an uncontrolled way.

Dr Hampson says the findings, published in the British Journal of Cancer, are all the more exciting because the chemicals, which were developed with colleagues at the University of Salford, appear to be relatively non-toxic and the positive effect on the cancer cells persists even when the chemicals are withdrawn.

“When the chemicals were added to a culture containing just cancer cells they had little effect,” said Dr Hampson, who is based in Manchester’s School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences. “It was only when we added the chemicals to a mixture of cancer cells and normal cells – similar to how you would find them in the body – that growth was suppressed.

“Intriguingly, the connections that allowed the healthy cells to communicate with the cancer cells stayed open even when the kinase inhibitors were removed indicating that a potential drug based on these chemicals could be given as a short course of treatment.

“Furthermore, the chemicals are non-poisonous and do not actually kill cells like conventional cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, so if we were able to develop a drug it is likely to have far fewer side-effects.”

The team say the next stage of their research will be to find out exactly how the chemicals are able to increase the number of connections between cancer and normal cells. Once this is known, it should be possible to produce a drug based on these chemicals that could hopefully be used in humans.

Dr Lynne Hampson added: “We are currently applying for funding to carry out further research into the biochemistry of how these chemicals cause the effect we have observed. We also intend to investigate the use of different types of cell cultures to assess the potency and range of activity of these agents.”

The research was funded by the Association for International Cancer Research, The Humane Research Trust, The Caring Cancer Research Trust, Kidscan and the Cancer Prevention Research Trust.

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

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

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | 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

 
Latest News

Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

23.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>