"We found that stopping the expression of two genes—Lin28 and Oct4—reduces ovarian cancer cell growth and survival," said Yingqun Huang, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine.
Ovarian cancer has been challenging to treat because it tends to recur frequently and develop resistance to treatment. The poor outcome for women with ovarian cancer has been associated with subtle and nonspecific symptoms—earning it the moniker the "disease that whispers."
"This recurrence and drug resistance may be due to the presence of CSCs within the tumors that have the capacity to reproduce and to differentiate into non-CSC tumor cells that repopulate the tumor mass," said Huang, who is a member of Yale Stem Cell Center and Yale Cancer Center. "Eliminating these CSCs may be key to successful treatments."
While in the process of studying the functions of stem cell proteins in human embryonic stem cells, Huang and her colleagues unexpectedly discovered that a sub-population of ovarian cancer cells express stem cell proteins Lin28 and Oct4. They also found that the two proteins appear to act together in ovarian cancer tissue cells to produce more advanced tumors. Inhibiting their combined expression led to a significant decrease in the growth and survival of cancer cells. A larger-scale ovarian cancer study is currently underway to confirm the significance of the findings.
"We hope we will soon be able to apply this new information to improve outcomes, perhaps by developing better diagnostic markers and treatment strategies that may be useful in customizing treatment for ovarian cancer patients," said Huang.
The study was supported by Connecticut Innovations, the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.
Other Yale authors on the study included Nita Maihle and Shuping Peng.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).
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The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
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