Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery points way for new treatment for aneurysms: UBC-Providence Research

28.01.2010
New research findings from a team at the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital and the University of British Columbia (UBC) may lead to new treatment options for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) – a potentially fatal disease that currently has no pharmacological treatments.

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. If the aneurysm ruptures, it causes rapid blood loss and a high risk of death. About 75 per cent of all aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta that is located in the abdomen, which supplies blood to the lower limbs.

Published in today's American Journal of Pathology, a study led by Dr. David Granville, a researcher with UBC and the Providence Heart + Lung Institute, reveals a novel therapeutic target for AAA that could have a major impact on the treatment of this disease.

Using experimental models of AAA, Dr. Granville and his team identified a protein-degrading enzyme called Granzyme B that is abundant in aneurysms. To determine whether Granzyme B was contributing to aneurysms, the enzyme was genetically knocked out.

"When we removed Granzyme B, we found that it not only slowed the progression of aneurysms, but also markedly improved survival," says Dr. Granville. "This suggests that drugs designed specifically to target Granzyme B could be an effective means of treating aneurysms."

Granzyme B is released by many types of immune cells to target and destroy unwanted or virus-infected cells.

Until recently, it was thought that immune cells delivered Granzyme B directly into cells targeted for destruction, but Dr. Granville's team demonstrates that, in certain conditions, this protein can leak out into the space surrounding healthy cells and in the blood stream. As it builds up outside of cells it starts breaking down structural proteins that maintain tissue integrity – similar to a termites eating away at the infrastructure of a home. In the case of the aorta, this can lead to a weakening of the structure, ballooning of the aorta (creating an aneurysm) and ultimately, the rupturing of the aneurysm.

Currently the 13th leading cause of death in North America, AAA has an 80 – 90 per cent chance of fatality if the aneurysm ruptures. Ruptured AAA and complications of surgical treatment are responsible for at least 15,000 deaths each year in the United States. However, as autopsies are not routinely performed for people over the age of 60, it is suggested that the actual rate may be as high as 30,000 deaths per year – a mortality rate close to that of prostate and breast cancers. Currently, the only effective treatment interventions involve surgical repair at late stages of disease. There are no treatments for smaller, earlier-stage aneurysms beyond basic monitoring of progression.

"As an aging-related disease, the incidence of AAA is on the rise, yet there are currently no early treatment options beyond basic monitoring of progression and surgery when the risk of rupture is greater than the risk of surgery," says Dr. Granville. "Our latest findings about Granzyme B could lead to the development of pharmaceuticals geared towards slowing or preventing aneurysm progression and rupture – helping those with AAA avoid surgical treatment, and possibly death."

Several patents have been filed relating to Dr. Granville's research. This has led to the formation of spin-off company viDA Therapeutics (www.vidatherapeutics.com), an early-stage biotechnology company spearheaded by President and CEO Alistair Duncan, which is developing first-in-class drugs for the treatment of age-related chronic inflammatory conditions.

Dr. Granville, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia and the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital. In 2004, he was chosen as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 by Caldwell Partners International and will be receiving a Top Forty Under 40 award by Business in Vancouver on January 28. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.

The Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital merges and integrates all of Providence Health Care's heart and lung research, education and care programs, making it the only one of its kind in Canada. www.heartandlung.ca.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>