In real time and in three dimensions, these technologies can show us how cancers spread and how active cancer cells respond to a particular drug. They can also tell us how much, how often and how long to administer drugs.
Cancer cells (green) spreading through tissue surrounding a tumour
Finally, using preclinical models of the disease, they can guide the use of ‘combination therapies’, techniques that enhance drug delivery by breaking up the tissue surrounding a tumour.
The study was performed by Dr Paul Timpson of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Professor Kurt Anderson of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, UK. PhD student Max Nobis studied the signaling protein ‘Src’, which becomes activated to drive invasive pancreatic cancer, and looked at how it could best be deactivated by a small molecule inhibitor — currently in phase II clinical trials — known as ‘dasatinib’. Their findings are published in the journal Cancer Research, now online.
“We have already shown that Src is activated in pancreatic tumours and we knew that dasatinib deactivates Src and could partially reduce the spread of this form of cancer. Through a collaborative partner in the US, we had access to FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) imaging technology,” said Dr Paul Timpson.
“Until now, we have been limited to studying tumour signalling in two dimensions – and lacked a dynamic way of reporting on drug targeting in live tumour tissue. Nanotechnology opens up a portal into living tissue that allows us to watch cancers spreading, and to determine which parts of a tumour we should be targeting with drugs.”
“This imaging technology has allowed us to map areas within the tumour that are highly aggressive, allowing us to pinpoint regions of poor drug delivery deep within a tumour at sub-cellular resolution. We can then see where we need to improve on drug delivery to improve clinical outcome.”
It has been hard to treat pancreatic tumours because they are extremely dense with collagen and have poor blood vessel networks for delivering drugs.
Professor Kurt Anderson observed that combination therapies can now be used to break down collagen, weakening tumour architecture and making it easier to get the drugs where they need to be. “The trick is to break down the structure just enough to get the drug in, but not so much that you damage the organ itself,” he said.
“These new FRET technologies help us gauge what is just enough and not too much.”“These are very exciting discoveries – we now have spatial and temporal information about cancer behaviour that we’ve never had before, as well as the nanotechnology to monitor and improve drug delivery in hard to reach tumour regions.”
Alison Heather | EurekAlert!
Staphylococcus aureus: A new mechanism involved in virulence and antibiotic resistance
23.03.2018 | Institut Pasteur
Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy