Now, the PhD research project led by Dr. Dana Faingold may open the door for very promising new treatment options for this pathology. Her first article was featured on the cover of the February 2008 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
“The first step in developing a medication is to determine the precise target of action,” explained Dana Faingold. “In this study, we have shown that to effectively fight this malignant tumour in the vascular network of the eye, we had to target Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90).”
HSP90 is already a therapeutic target in many other types of cancer. In fact, this protein, which is called a “chaperone” because it guides the actions of other proteins, is at the centre of many metabolic pathways. By disrupting HSP90’s functioning, it is possible to affect multiple steps in cell metabolism, for example, signalling pathways, cell cycle regulation pathways, or growth hormone receptors. This blocks many vital cellular functions, so the cancer cells become unable to reproduce and the tumour regresses.
Clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine the effectiveness of an antibiotic called 17/AAG, an HSP90 inhibitor, against malignant tumours of the skin, breast and in patients with multiple cancers. However, no one has yet studied this inhibitor’s effect on ocular melanoma. “This is a pre-clinical study, which means we are examining in-vitro cell lines. Our results clearly prove not only that HSP90 is largely overexpressed in this type of tumour but also that the 17/AAG molecule is effective at reducing the growth of these tumoral cells,” said Dana Faingold.
Several clinical trial stages will have to be completed before 17/AAG can be recognized as a possible treatment for melanoma of the eye. The first stage, which should begin shortly, aims at proving the effectiveness of the molecule in an animal model. This in vivo confirmation is necessary before testing for human treatment can begin.
Isabelle Kling | EurekAlert!
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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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
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