Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When the immune system promotes tumor growth

18.02.2016

The immune system plays an important role in the prevention of cancer. So-called Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells and responsible for the elimination of cancerous cells.

Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna have now discovered that NK cells can switch and promote tumor growth, with STAT5 acting as the key regulator.


Dagmar Gotthardt and her colleagues have shown for the first time ever that NK cells produce a factor called VEGF-A that promotes tumor growth.

(Photo: Petra Kudweis)

NK cells require active STAT5 to kill tumor cells; however, when STAT5 is absent or inhibited, NK cells do the opposite: they accelerate cancer progression by promoting angiogenesis. Drugs targeting STAT5 may therefore boost tumor growth. The study was published in the high-impact journal Cancer Discovery.

The immune system protects the body against cancer cells. The Elimination of cancer cells is an important task of NK cells. For NK cells to function properly, they require the activator STAT5.

Dagmar Gotthardt, Veronika Sexl and colleagues from the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna have shown that NK cells that lack STAT5 promote the growth of cancer cells. “You can imagine STAT5 like an on/off switch. When STAT5 is present, it stimulates NK cells to act against cancer cells. If STAT5 is absent, NK cells do the opposite and incite the cancer cells to grow,” explains Gotthardt, the first author of the study.

STAT5 inhibition is the treatment of choice for many types of cancer

STAT5 is highly active in many forms of cancer such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and leukaemia. Drugs that inhibit STAT5 are a great hope for the treatment of many different tumor types. Gotthardt and her colleagues now call this strategy into question.

“These inhibitors not only target cancer cells but may also have a negative impact on the immune system and NK cells. They could promote the progress of the disease. That would be a dangerous cocktail for patients,” Gotthardt says.

For the first time ever, the researchers have shown that NK cells produce a factor called VEGF-A (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A) that promotes tumor growth. A number of different experiments have shown that STAT5 is required for the killing of tumor cells and normally suppresses the production of VEGF-A in NK cells.

If STAT5 is inhibited, VEGF-A is produced in high amounts leading to increased tumor progression. The results are of clinical relevance: One of the inhibitors that formed part of the study is already in clinical use.

Service:

The article „STAT5 is a key regulator in NK cells and acts as molecular switch from tumor surveillance to tumor promotion”, by Dagmar Gotthardt, Eva M. Putz, Eva Grundschober, Michaela Prchal-Murphy, Elisabeth Straka, Petra Kudweis, Gerwin Heller, Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath, Agnieszka Witalisz-Siepracka, Abbarna A. Cumaraswamy, Patrick T. Gunning, Birgit Strobl, Mathias Muller, Richard Moriggl, Christian Stockmann and Veronika Sexl was published in Cancer Discovery. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290
http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2016/02/16/2159-8290.CD-15...

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact

Univ.-Prof. Veronika Sexl

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxikology

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)

T +43 1 20577-2910

veronika.sexl@vetmeduni.ac.at

or

Dagmar Gotthardt. PhD

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxikology

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)

T +43 6605248399

dagmar.gotthardt@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Susanna Berger
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
susanna.berger@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/presseinformationen-...

Dr. Susanna Berger | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

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:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

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...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>