Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene linked to worse outcomes for melanoma

19.02.2013
Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have identified a gene present in some melanoma which appears to make the tumour cells more resistant to treatment, according to research published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
The scientists discovered that the gene TP63 is unexpectedly expressed in some melanoma and correlates significantly with a worse prognosis. It is hoped this new understanding of what makes some melanoma cells so difficult to kill will help inform the development of new therapies.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer which usually appears on the body as a new or changing mole. Almost 13,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma each year. While it is less common than other forms of skin cancer – around five per cent of skin cancers are melanoma – it results in around 75 per cent of skin cancer related deaths (more than 2000 deaths a year in the UK).

The number of cases of melanoma is rising faster than almost any other cancer and one of the main risk factors is ultraviolet light, which comes from the sun or sunbeds. While early-stage melanomas can often be removed by surgery, more advanced melanomas are much harder to treat.

Dr Daniele Bergamaschi, a senior lecturer in cutaneous research at Queen Mary said: "For most patients where the melanoma has spread beyond the skin, there are few effective treatments and overall survival rates for this disease have not changed much over the past 30 years.

"To develop better treatments we need to understand the basic biology underpinning why these cells are so resistant to being killed."

The researchers analysed 156 melanoma tissue samples from 129 individuals for expression of the protein p63 – the protein encoded by the gene TP63. They found that p63 was expressed in more than 50 per cent of the samples (58% of primary metastatic samples, 53% of recurrent samples and 66% of metastatic samples) and correlated significantly with death from melanoma.

Dr Bergamaschi said: "We did not expect to find the TP63 gene expressed in melanoma. It is not usually found in the melanocytes (skin pigment cells), which are the cells from which melanomas develop. However, it appears in some cases this gene is turned on as the tumour forms, and when it does it is linked to a worse prognosis."

The researchers suggest that the TP63 gene, and the subsequent production of the protein p63 in some melanoma, is inhibiting the apoptotic function of the protein p53. One of the main activities mediated by p53 is apoptosis – the process of programmed cell death and one of the main mechanisms by which cancer cells die.

Dr Bergamaschi said: "The apoptotic pathway is often not working in melanoma. However this is not explained by mutations in the TP53 gene, which encodes for the p53 protein, as evidence suggests this is mutated in less than 10 per cent of melanoma.

"This work suggests that in a significant number of cases it is actually the protein p63 which is inhibiting p53's apoptotic function, making some tumours more resistant to treatment. We therefore suggest that p63 should be considered when designing new treatments for melanoma which are focused on re-activating the apoptotic pathway in order to make the cancer cells easier to kill."

Katrina Coutts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qmul.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

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...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

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...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

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...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

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....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>