Targeting angiogenesis alone not effective
Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and colleagues found that by inhibiting both the proteins responsible for breast cancer growth and those required for the formation of new blood vessels, they could more effectively suppress the growth of extremely aggressive breast tumors in mice. In a surprising finding, the researchers showed that mice harboring a mutation commonly found in human breast cancers developed tumors that were able to grow despite a defect in angiogenesis or new blood vessel formation. However, when these mice were also treated with a chemotherapy drug under development at Memorial Sloan-Kettering that inhibits Hsp90 (a cell survival protein), the chemotherapy was significantly more effective in the mice with abnormal angiogenesis so that tumor growth was completely suppressed. These findings, published in the October 3 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, suggest that combining agents that target these two cellular functions should be evaluated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer.
"It was unexpected that the tumors would be able to overcome an inhibition to angiogenesis," said Paola de Candia, Ph.D., a researcher in the Benezra laboratory and first author of the study. "The mice developed large tumors despite the impairment in their ability to form new blood vessels caused by Id deficiency. The tumors were morphologically different with cystic (liquid) centers and a narrow rim of tumor cells. The cells in the rim continued to proliferate and invade tissue. Ultimately, they metastasized, suggesting that inhibiting tumor angiogenesis was not sufficient to suppress tumor growth and progression."
Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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