Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New strategies with greater antitumorous efficacy

04.10.2007
One of the biggest problems in the current treatment of cancer is that the agents that are efficacious in the destruction of tumorous cells are, at the same time, extremely toxic for the rest of the healthy cells and tissues of the patient. To address the problem the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) is seeking more specific treatments and studying the differences between tumorous cells and healthy ones.

A research team from the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology is working on identifying pharmacological agents that increase the therapeutic benefit of combinations of chemo-, immune and radiotherapy agents in the treatment of cancer ailments.

The aim of the research team was to identify compounds that act on the metabolic pathways and processes that take place differently depending whether a diseased tissue of a patient or healthy tissue is involved; in this way selective action can be undertaken, increasing the sensitivity of treatments for diseased tissues without damaging healthy cells or tissues at the same time.

With this general goal the researchers tested various biomodulators on a number of different tumorous modules such as melanoma, sarcoma and cancer of the colon. On the one hand, they studied agents that modulated levels of glutathione (GSH) – key element in the biological processes of cells, both healthy and tumorous. Tumorous cells with high GSH levels have a greater growth and metastatic capacity and a lower sensitivity to antitumorous agents. On the other hand, one of the features of tumorous cells is that they lose their normal level of differentiation and, instead of exercising a determined function, they start to proliferate and generate a greater quantity of tumorous cells. This is why the researchers have also used agents that induce differentiation, such as are retinoids.

More selective therapies

Both groups of modulators have been associated with classic agents used in antitumorous therapies and have seen the benefits arising therefrom. They have shown that the GSH level modulating agent - oxothiazolidine-carboxylate (OTZ) increases the antitumorous effect in antitumorous cells and, at the same time, protects healthy tissue. In this way the therapeutic benefit can be increased. Nevertheless, when another GSH-level modulating agent is combined with antitumorous agents, for example, buthionine-sulphoxamide (BSO), the researchers observed that the effect of the standard drug was increased but that an increase in damage to healthy tissue also took place.

Also, with the aim of returning the cells to a more differentiated state, closer to healthy cell behaviour, this research team is investigating the use of retinoids in combination with standard agents. The response of tumorous cells to retinoids depends on the degree of differentiation of these cells. In general, highly differentiated tumorous cells are more sensitive to retinoids than moderately differentiated ones are. These latter, in response to retinoids, may trigger defence mechanisms that augment GSH levels and, in this way, increase metastatic capacity.

This is an interesting point, given that to date this different capacity that can have different cell lines within the same tumorous type has not been described. What the UPV-EHU researchers have done is to link both lines of modulation -GSH modulation and that of the differentiation inductors. They have found a link between the two – the induction of differentiation with retinoids also modulates the GSH levels of tumorous cells.

Researchers are analysing the model for the concentration and administering of the agents used, given that, in the biological modulation, both elements are found to be fundamental for the success of the treatment. The concentration is not a matter of the more the better, but the optimum response involves a specific concentration, because too little or too much may produce opposite or undesired effects.

Following in vitro and in vivo trials by researchers at the laboratories of the UPV/EHU, one of the goals of the research team is to transfer the information obtained to more easily managed systems for research and for clinical trials.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=1459&hizk=I

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>