Scientists in Manchester have identified a protein that could help doctors decide which bladder cancer patients would benefit from a treatment that makes radiotherapy more effective, according to a study* published in the British Journal of Cancer (BJC).
The team from The University of Manchester, funded by the Medical Research Council, found that patients whose bladder tumour had high levels of a protein, called 'HIF-1α', were more likely to benefit from having carbogen – oxygen mixed with carbon dioxide gas – and nicotinamide tablets at the same time as their radiotherapy. The treatment, called 'CON', makes radiotherapy more effective.
By comparing levels of HIF-1α in tissue samples from 137 patients who had radiotherapy on its own or with CON, the researchers found the protein predicted which patients benefited from having CON. High levels of the protein were linked to better survival from the disease when patients had radiotherapy and CON. Patients with low protein levels did not benefit from having CON with their radiotherapy.
The HIF-1α protein indicates low oxygen levels in tumour cells – a state known as 'hypoxia'. The CON treatment works by adding oxygen to the oxygen-deprived tumour cells which makes them more sensitive to the radiotherapy.
Study author, Professor Catharine West, a Cancer Research UK scientist at The University of Manchester, said: "Although we have another biomarker that can predict responsiveness to CON and radiotherapy in bladder cancer patients, our findings tell us a bit more about the characteristics of bladder cancer tumours and how they may respond to this treatment."
"But we desperately need to do more work to find ways to treat those patients who won't see as much benefit from this.
"And it's exactly this type of vital research that we and other scientists will be doing at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre – bringing together a wide range of expertise to revolutionise cancer treatment."
Around 65 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer in Manchester every year**. There are around 25 deaths from the disease every year***.
Nell Barrie, senior science communications manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "This fascinating new finding could help doctors adapt their treatments to patients with bladder cancer as well as shedding more light on the disease.
"Deaths from bladder cancer are falling in the UK, but more work needs to be done so that this trend continues. More research is needed to helps us find new and better ways to fight bladder cancer."
For media enquiries please contact the press office on 020 3469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.
*Hunter, BA et al. Expression hypoxia-inducible factor-1α predicts benefit from hypoxia modification in invasive bladder cancer (2014) British Journal of Cancer. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.315
Notes to Editor
The study was supported by Medical Research Council (MRC) and Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre funding.
** The annual average number of people diagnosed with bladder cancer (ICD-10 C67) in Manchester PCT between 2008 and 2010. Source: NCIN e-atlas. http://www.ncin.org.uk/cancer_information_tools/eatlas/pct/atlas.html?se...
*** Based on the annual average number of people who died from bladder cancer (ICD-10 C67) in Manchester PCT between 2009 and 2011. Source: NCIN e-atlas. http://www.ncin.org.uk/cancer_information_tools/eatlas/pct/atlas.html?se...
Flora Malein | Eurek Alert!
Antibiotic effectiveness imperiled as use in livestock expected to increase
27.03.2015 | Princeton University
A human respiratory tissue model to assess the toxicity of inhaled chemicals and pollutants
26.03.2015 | R&D at British American Tobacco
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
27.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
27.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
27.03.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation