Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tumor-activated protein promotes cancer spread

14.05.2013
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center report that cancers physically alter cells in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels that transports and stores immune cells throughout the body – to promote the spread of disease, a process called metastasis.

The findings are published in this week's online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Roughly 90 percent of all cancer deaths are due to metastasis – the disease spreading from the original tumor site to multiple, distant tissues and finally overwhelming the patient's body. Lymph vessels are often the path of transmission, with circulating tumor cells lodging in the lymph nodes – organs distributed throughout the body that act as immune system garrisons and traps for pathogens and foreign particles.

The researchers, led by principal investigator Judith A. Varner, PhD, professor of medicine at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, found that a protein growth factor expressed by tumors called VEGF-C activates a receptor called integrin á4â1 on lymphatic vessels in lymph node tissues, making them more attractive and sticky to metastatic tumor cells.

"One of the most significant features of this work is that it highlights the way that tumors can have long-range effects on other parts of the body, which can then impact tumor metastasis or growth," said Varner.

Varner said á4â1 could prove to be a valuable biomarker for measuring cancer risk, since increased levels of the activated protein in lymph tissues is an indirect indicator that an undetected tumor may be nearby.

She said whole-body imaging scans of the lymphatic network might identify problem areas relatively quickly and effectively. "The idea is that a radiolabeled or otherwise labeled anti-integrin á4â1 antibody could be injected into the lymphatic circulation, and it would only bind to and highlight the lymphatic vessels that have been activated by the presence of a tumor."

Varner noted that á4â1 levels correlate with metastasis – the higher the level, the greater the chance of the cancer spreading. With additional research and clinical studies, doctors could refine treatment protocols so that patients at higher risk are treated appropriately, but patients at lower or no risk of metastasis are not over-treated.

The researchers noted in their studies that it is possible to suppress tumor metastasis by reducing growth factor levels or by blocking activation of the á4â1 receptor. Varner said an antibody to VEGF-R3 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. An approved humanized anti-á4â1 antibody is currently approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease. Varner said her lab at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is investigating the possibility of developing one for treating cancer.

Co-authors include Barbara Garmy-Susini, Christie J. Avraamides, Michael C. Schmid and Philippe Foubert, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Jay S. Desgrosellier, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and UCSD Department of Pathology; Lesley G. Ellies, Scott R. Vanderberg, Brian Datnow, Huan-You Wang and David A. Cheresh, UCSD Department of Pathology; Andrew M. Lowy and Sarah L. Blair, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and UCSD Department of Surgery.

Funding for this research came, in part, from National Institutes of Health grants CA83133 and CA126820; Department of Defense grant W81XWH-06-1-052 and NIH-National Cancer Institute grant U54 CA119335.

Scott LaFee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>