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 Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>