Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common treatment for cancer pain stimulates breast tumor growth in mice

23.07.2002

University of Minnesota Cancer Center researchers have found that morphine, which is routinely given to cancer patients to manage severe pain, actually stimulates signals in endothelial cells that in turn prompt tumors to grow in mice. The study will be published in the Aug. 1 issue of Cancer Research. Kalpna Gupta, Ph.D., assistant professor in the hematology, oncology and transplantation division of the university’s department of medicine and lead author of the study, found that doses of morphine similar to doses given to cancer patients activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway in human endothelial cells (cells that form blood vessels). MAPK plays a key role in promoting endothelial cell multiplication and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). Angiogenesis can cause tumor growth by providing nutrients to growing tumors and by transporting cancer cells from a tumor to other parts of the body. Gupta notes that morphine did not promote initial or early growth of tumors in this study.

The researchers also found that morphine promotes endothelial cell survival by activating Akt, the key survival-signaling pathway inside these cells. Endothelial cell survival is crucial to the process of angiogenesis. This study demonstrates for the first time that morphine-induced effects on blood vessel cells can lead to angiogenesis-dependent tumor growth in mice.

"Despite the widespread use of morphine to treat pain in many medical conditions like cancer, little was known about how this drug affects blood vessels or cancer," says Gupta. "Our study shows that morphine stimulates the formation of new blood vessels inside the tumor, which in turn allows increased growth of tumors in mice." Gupta cautions that there is currently no scientific data that indicates morphine or similar pain medications will lead to increased growth of cancers in humans.

According to Gupta, these findings could lead to the development of new treatments to manage cancer pain. For example, understanding the activity of opioids like morphine in angiogenesis may lead to new drugs that selectively relieve pain without stimulating angiogenesis. The researchers said that their findings call for further investigation of the role of morphine and similar opioid drugs in tumor growth in patients.

Deane Morrison | EurekAlert
Further information:
http://cancer.umn.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>