Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a new cancer treatment that has proved to be effective in mice. The treatment, which is presented in the prestigious scientific journal PNAS, is based on newly discovered properties of the so-called BET bromodomain inhibitors.
A few years ago, a molecule known as “JQ1” was developed, which can block so called BET bromodomain proteins. This switch off the known cancer gene MYC thereby preventing cancer cells from dividing.
Jonas Nilsson, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the University of Gothenburg
The discovery was regarded as a major breakthrough. A problem was that JQ1 did not function optimally in animal experiments, and this means that it has not been possible to test the treatment on cancer patients.
Jonas Nilsson and his research group have developed, in collaboration with the Canadian company Zenith epigenetics, a new molecule known as “RVX2135”, which has been tested in mice with MYC-driven lymphoma. The study will be published this week in the early edition of the prestigious scientific journal PNAS and shows that the new molecule not only causes cancer cells in culture to stop growing, it also causes tumors to die. This means that the mice survive their cancer longer.
“We hypothesized that the new molecule could also switch off the MYC gene. However, our studies show that neither the JQ1 molecule nor the RVX2135 molecule have this property in these types of cells. This means that the mode of action is probably not as simple as we believed,” says Jonas Nilsson, Group Leader at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center.
Increased survival in mice
The scientists in Gothenburg also discovered that the RVX2135 molecule activates the same genes as those activated by molecules known as “HDAC inhibitors”, which are already used to treat cancer. The scientists then tested HDAC inhibitors together with the newly discovered molecules and it turned out that the combination increased survival in mice with lymphoma.
“It was also possible to reduce the dose of HDAC inhibitors when used in combination with RVX2135 and this reduced adverse effects. We see this as a breakthrough in the clinical development of this type of treatment,” Jonas Nilsson explains.
Jonas Nilsson has recently founded the Sahlgrenska Translational Melanoma Group together with surgeons and oncologists at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. This group will investigate whether the treatment can be used also for malignant melanoma.
“The work is challenging, but we believe that the prospects for success with combination treatments are good,” says Jonas Nilsson.
The article BET and HDAC inhibitors induce similar genes and biological effects and synergize to kill in Myc-induced murine lymphoma will be published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 16 June.
Link to article: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/06/13/1406722111.abstract
More information about the research project: http://www.cancercenter.gu.se/research/nilsson-lab/
Jonas Nilsson, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Tel.: +46 31 786 6768
Cell: +46 73 027 3039
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy