In collaboration with the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers have identified an enzyme that could help diagnose and treat cholangiocarcinoma, a form of liver cancer that strikes up to 3,000 new patients each year in the United States.
Cholangiocarcinoma is the second most common type of cancer that affects the hepatobiliary system, which includes the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. The disease is most commonly diagnosed in patients in their 60’s and 70’s, and prognosis is generally poor with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. The only current curative treatment of the disease is surgery to remove all tumor tissue, but most patients’ cancer is too advanced upon diagnosis to operate.
Southeast Asia is particularly affected by cholangiocarcinoma, but incidence of the disease is rising in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
“An advance in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease could have a profound impact,” said Professor Khee Chee Soo, Director of the National Cancer Centre, Singapore. “Cholangiocarcinoma is especially prevalent in Southeast Asia where, because of chronic infections by liver flukes and other factors, it kills thousands each year.”
Cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellularcarcinoma (HCC) are the two main forms of malignant liver cancer and require different treatments. Researchers found that the enzyme p38delta mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK13) is found in higher levels in cholangiocarcinomas than in HCC or normal tissue, and that it plays a role in the ability of tumor cells to move and invade normal tissue.
MAPK13 could be used as a complement to current biomarkers in diagnosing cholangiocarcinoma and distinguishing it from HCC, and it could serve as a drug target to help treat cholangiocarcinoma.
“Cholangiocarcinomas are notoriously challenging to diagnose and treat,” said VARI Distinguished Scientific Investigator Bin Tean Teh, M.D., Ph.D., whose laboratory published its findings in the May 15 issue of the International Journal of Cancer. “Discoveries that lead to earlier detection and diagnosis will improve the long-term survival rate of patients.”
Tissues used in the study were obtained from the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, and the Singapore General Hospital.
This work was partly supported by the Singapore Millennium Foundation and the National Cancer Centre Research Foundation.About Van Andel Institute
Joe Gavan | EurekAlert!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
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”...
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...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
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...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News