A team led by a scientist from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has identified a new biomarker linked to better outcomes of patients with head and neck cancers and non-small cell lung cancer.
The work could help scientists develop new diagnostics and therapies and help physicians determine the best long-term treatments for patients with these cancers.
Dr. Laura Niedernhofer studies DNA damage, cell function and cancer biomarkers at the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute. Her work could lead to better diagnostics and more personalized therapies.
Credit: Scripps Research Institute
The findings, which were published this week online ahead of print by the journal Cancer, focus on a protein called Choline phosphate cytidylyltransferase-α CCT-α or CCTα, an "antigen" that prompts the immune system to produce antibodies against it.
"Based on what we found, a high CCTα expression appears to be indicative of survival, making CCTα a promising biomarker," said Laura Niedernhofer, a TSRI associate professor who led the study with Gerold Bepler of the Karmanos Cancer Institute. "Our findings suggest that CCTα may, in fact, be more important in determining outcomes in patients with both types of cancer than the already established ERCC1."
The new study, in fact, turns previous studies on ERCC1 on their heads. Dozens of large clinical trials are being conducted using expression of the ERCC1 DNA-repair protein as a determinant of whether patients with lung, pancreatic, gastric, colorectal, esophageal or ovarian cancer should be treated with platinum-based therapy, a very potent but toxic DNA-damaging agent.
However, the new research suggests that these positive results were not actually due to ERCC1, but to CCTα—which also binds to the antibody most frequently used to measure ERCC1 expression. "Our results show CCTα may be a better predictor of patient outcomes than expression of ERCC1," said Niedernhofer.
While ERCC1 is associated with DNA repair, CCTα is involved in the synthesis of a major component of cell membranes, active in membrane-mediated signaling and embryo survival.
The new results were based on an examination of samples from 187 patients with non-small cell lung cancer and 60 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
CCTα expression was associated with longer survival rates, including for patients with non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with surgery alone—without the use of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs and associated toxic side effects.
The first author of the study, "Choline Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase-α is a Novel Antigen Detected by the Anti-ERCC1 Antibody 8F1 with Biomarker Value in Patients with Lung and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas," is Alec Vaezi of the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to Niedernhofer, Bepler and Vaezi, other authors include Agnes Malysa and Wei Chen of the Karmanos Cancer Institute; and Nikhil Bhagwat, Jennifer Rubatt, Brian Hood, Thomas Conrads, Lin Wang and Carolyn Kemp of the University of Pittsburgh. For more information, see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.28643/abstract
The study was supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grant R01-ES016114), the National Cancer Institute (grants R01-CA129343 and P50-CA097190) and the American Head and Neck Society.
About The Scripps Research Institute:
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see http://www.scripps.edu.
Eric Sauter | EurekAlert!
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine