Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rare genetic disease offers insight into common cancers

05.09.2012
Fanconi anemia is a recessive genetic disorder affecting 1 in 350,000 babies, which leaves cells unable to repair damaged DNA. This lack of repair puts Fanconi anemia patients at high risk for developing a variety of cancers, especially leukemias and head and neck cancer.
Cruelly, the condition also nixes the use of an entire class of cancer drugs, namely drugs like mitomycin C, by encouraging DNA to crosslink together like sticky strands of bread dough – generally, healthy cells can repair a few crosslinks whereas cancer cells cannot and so are killed. However, Fanconi anemia patients are unable to repair the damage done to healthy or cancerous cells done by these drugs and so treatment with mitomycin C is frequently fatal.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study funded by the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund explored the effectiveness of a novel agent in preventing cancer in this population – namely, resveratrol as found in red wine. The results of this study will be presented at the 24th annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium, September 27-30 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver, Colo.

In fact, the findings may go far past Fanconi anemia.

“One of the Fanconi genes that is lost is BRCA2 – the same genetic loss that causes many breast cancers,” says Robert Sclafani, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the CU School of Medicine. “So one mystery is why Fanconi anemia patients don’t get breast cancer. In Fanconi, every cell in the body is missing that gene – Fanconi is a very rare thing but it’s telling us something about cancers that aren’t so rare.”

Sclafani’s had already shown the effectiveness of resveratrol in treating head and neck cancer, and in this study explored the effect of resveratrol in Fanconi cell lines – could it prevent cancer by eliminating the cancer cells in Fanconi patients?

“It turns out that regular Fanconi cells aren’t sensitive to resveratrol in the way they’re sensitive to drugs like mitomycin C,” Sclafani says. Instead, Sclafani hopes that additional mutations found in Fanconi head and neck cancer cells but not in regular Fanconi cells will make the cancer cells sensitive to resveratrol in a way normal Fanconi cells are not. His recent results will be presented at the upcoming meeting.

“It’s an interesting population,” says Sclafani, “and one that may hold information about many kinds of cancer.”

Garth Sundem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

A chip for environmental and health monitoring

15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>