Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Colorado team identifies new colon cancer marker

28.03.2011
A research team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has identified an enzyme that could be used to diagnose colon cancer earlier. It is possible that this enzyme also could be a key to stopping the cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Americans, with a one in 20 chance of developing it, according to the American Cancer Society. This enzyme biomarker could help physicians identify more colon cancers and do so at earlier stages when the cancer is more successfully treated.

The research was led by Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD, professor of molecular toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, and published in the Jan. 7 online issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Vasiliou’s laboratory specializes in understanding the role of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases in drug metabolism, metabolic diseases, cancer and normal and cancer stem cells.

Vasiliou’s team studied colon cancers from 40 patients and found a form of this enzyme known as ALDH1B1 present in every colon cancer cell in 39 out of the 40 cases. The enzyme, which is normally found only in stem cells, was detected at extraordinarily high levels.

“Other potential colon cancer biomarkers have been identified in the past, but none thus far are present in such a high percent of the cancer cells and virtually none are overexpressed like this one,” says David Orlicky, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the CU medical school and a member of the research team.

This finding is particularly timely as it was recommended last week at the Human Genome 2011 annual meeting that a chemical analysis for biomarkers should always accompany genotyping in early detection of colon cancer, says Vasiliou, who attended the meeting in Dubai.

It appears that ALDH1B1 aids the development or growth of these cancer cells because it would not be present in every cell at such high levels if it were simply a byproduct of the cancer. Based on this finding, the enzyme may provide a way to treat the disease, says Ying Chen, PhD, lead author and assistant professor of molecular toxicology at the CU School of Pharmacy.

The team is now studying how this enzyme is up-regulated into colon cancer cells and its exact role in the physiology of the tumor cells, Vasiliou says. The team also is seeking to understand the substrate, inhibitors and activators of ALDH1B1.

“Our efforts are focused on developing a drug that could turn into a toxic compound and kill the cancer cell when acted upon by the enzyme,” Vasiliou says. “It would act like a suicide pill, if you will.”

Vasiliou’s team is collaborating in this work with laboratories at the National Cancer Institute, Scripps Research Institute in California, University of Melbourne in Australia, University of Heidelberg in Germany and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

“This work will be considered a landmark in the understanding of basic metabolic processes within the colon cancer cell,” Orlicky says.

Lynn Clark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>