Patients with gallbladder cancer often show few or no symptoms for long periods of time. As a result, the tumours are only detected at a late stage of the disease when treatment is often no longer possible. Working in collaboration with pathologists at the University of Magdeburg, Sonja M. Kessler, a research pharmacist in the group led by Professor Alexandra K. Kiemer at Saarland University, has identified a new pathway that may allow improved prognosis and treatment of the disease. Kessler has discovered a protein that is linked with tumour growth and that functions as a prognostic marker, thus providing an indication of how the cancer may progress.
The results have been published in the specialist journal ‘Oncotarget’. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.21116
The three proteins usually targeted by pharmacist Sonja M. Kessler in her research work are known to play an important role in embryos in the womb. These proteins help to ensure the rapid growth and development of the unborn child. After birth, however, these proteins typically play no further role.
‘All of these proteins are switched off after birth and they are no longer copied from the child’s genetic blueprint,’ explains licenced pharmacist Dr. Sonja M. Kessler, who is carrying out research at Saarland University in the group run by Professor Alexandra K. Kiemer for her Habilitation – the advanced research degree that entitles the holder to teach at professorial level within the German higher education system. However, it turns out that this family of proteins with the unremarkable names IMP1 to 3 can be switched on again. And if that happens, they can cause a lot of harm. Of the three proteins, IMP2 is particularly hostile: ‘Because IMP2 promotes cell division and proliferation, it also drives the growth of tumours,’ explains Kessler.
Research pharmacist Kessler has now succeeded in linking the protein group to gallbladder cancer. ‘We were able to identify the proteins in a large number of tissue samples from gallbladder patients. We were also able to show that the tumour grows faster when the cells contain larger amounts of the IMP2 protein. And in those cases patient prognosis is poorer,’ says Kessler.
This result from a basic research programme may in future help to improve gallbladder treatment. ‘Up until now there have been very few prognostic markers for this tumour,’ says Sonja Kessler. Prognostic markers are substances in blood or tissue samples that indicate that a malignant cancer is likely to have a poor outcome for the patient.
Currently available treatment options can therefore be tailored more closely to the patient’s needs, which may help to improve clinical outcomes. IMP2 represents an important and potentially useful prognostic marker for gallbladder cancer. The results of Kessler’s research may also provide the basis for new effective drug treatments. Once the participating protein has been identified, research can be undertaken to influence, slow or even completely prevent the harmful processes that are set in motion by the protein.
Kessler’s research was conducted in collaboration with Johannes Haybaeck, Professor of Pathology at the University of Magdeburg, who has built up the world’s largest collection of almost 500 tissue samples from gallbladder cancer patients.
With the help of the tissue bank, Dr. Kessler was able to identify the protein IMP2 as a completely new player in gallbladder cancer. Experimentally, the IMP proteins in the tissue samples were made visible and analysed with the help of marked antibodies.
Press photographs are available at http://www.uni-saarland.de/pressefotos and can be used at no charge.
Contact: Dr. Sonja M. Kessler (Department of Pharmaceutical Biology):
Tel.: +49 (0)681 302-57314; E-mail: email@example.com
Prof. Dr. Alexandra K. Kiemer (Department of Pharmaceutical Biology)
Tel.: +49 (0)681 302-57301; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note for radio journalists: Studio-quality telephone interviews can be conducted using broadcast audio IP codec technology (IP direct dial or via the ARD node 106813020001). Interview requests should be addressed to the university’s Press and Public Relations Office (+49 (0)681 302-64091 or -2601).
http://www.impactjournals.com/oncotarget/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=a... - "IMP2/IGF2BP2 expression, but not IMP1 and IMP3, predicts poor outcome in patients and high tumor growth rate in xenograft models of gallbladder cancer" DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.21116
Claudia Ehrlich | Universität des Saarlandes
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine