Lead author Yingqun Huang, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, and her colleagues have demonstrated a connection between two concepts that are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated.
First, the "cancer stem cell" idea suggests that at the heart of every tumor there is a small subset of difficult-to-identify tumor cells that fuel the growth of the bulk of the tumor. This concept predicts that ordinary therapies typically kill the bulk of tumor cells while leaving a rich environment for continued growth of the stem cell tumor population.
The second concept, dubbed "seed and soil," defines a critical role for the tumor cells' "microenvironment," which is the special environment required for cancer cell growth and spread.
"Both concepts have particular relevance for the treatment of adult solid tumors such as ovarian cancer, which has been notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat," said co-author Nita J. Maihle, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and a member of Yale Cancer Center. "Ovarian cancer patients are plagued by recurrences of tumor cells that are resistant to chemotherapy, ultimately leading to uncontrolled cancer growth and death."
In this study, Huang and her colleagues were able to define a molecular basis for the interplay between these two concepts in ovarian cancer. They did this by using sophisticated gene sequencing methods to demonstrate a regulatory link between the stem cell factor Lin28 and the signaling molecule bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4).
"These results are supported by the latest molecular ovarian cancer prognosis data, which also suggest an active role for the tumor microenvironment in ovarian carcinogenesis," said Huang and Maihle. "Together these studies reveal new targets for the development of cancer therapies."
Other authors on the study include Wei Ma, Jing Ma, Jie Xu, Chong Qiao, Adam Branscum, Andres Cardenas, Andre T. Baron, Peter Schwartz, and Nita J. Maihle.
The study was funded by a 09SCAYALE14 Connecticut Stem Cell Grant and a 1063338 Albert McKern Scholar Award to Huang, and a Yale School of Medicine "Senior Women in Medicine" Professorship to Nita J. Maihle.
Citation: Cell Cycle Vol. 12, Issue 1
Karen N. Peart | Source: EurekAlert!
Further information: www.yale.edu
More articles from Health and Medicine:
Recurring memory traces boost long-lasting memories
05.12.2013 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
Gentler Heart Surgery remains without signs of Dementia
05.12.2013 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
The Light: Global study gets underway with online user survey
Light has a fundamental impact on our sense of well-being and performance. In cooperation with Zumtobel, a supplier of lighting solutions, Fraunhofer IAO has launched a global user survey of lighting quality in offices. The objective is to identify the best lighting conditions for a variety of spaces and lighting ...
Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...
A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball – a star is born.
New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now. The results are published in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The young ...
EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers; Their simple, innovative solution reduces the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data
Optical fibers carry data in the form of pulses of light over distances of thousands of miles at amazing speeds. They are one of the glories of modern telecommunications technology.
However, their capacity is limited, because the pulses of light need to be lined up one after the other in ...
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of September, and had several highlights. HS3 will return to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
During the 2013 mission, two unmanned Global Hawks flew from Wallops for the first time. The mission highlights included studying the Saharan Air Layer, following the genesis of a tropical storm, finding a unique hybrid core or center circulation in a redeveloped storm, obtaining measurements on the strongest side of ...
05.12.2013 | Health and Medicine
05.12.2013 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
05.12.2013 | Information Technology
05.12.2013 | Event News
04.12.2013 | Event News
12.11.2013 | Event News