Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of new biological principle can give better cancer treatment

13.09.2004


Pioneering research on leukaemia cells can have identified their vulnerable spot. This new knowledge can now be used to produce more effective medicines.



A group of scientists at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital made a surprising discovery when they stimulated leukaemia cells with the growth hormone GM-CSF. The reaction of the cells surprised everyone and would seem to indicate that scientists in Bergen have uncovered a new biological principle and consequently, a new therapeutic goal.

"We shouted, and expected to get one reply, but what we got was a bellow from an entire football team," says Project Leader Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, who was recently presented in the renowned American periodical Cell.


Hugely important discovery for cancer patients

Cell membranes contain receptors that are stimulated by a number of environmental factors, among them hormones. This starts a chain reaction between proteins that can in cancer cells result in increased production of substances that hamper necrocytosis (cell death) and encourage cancer. A mutation in receptor Flt3 and how this activates the chain reaction has previously been paid a lot of attention. In the tests carried out by Gjertsen and his fellow scientists, it was the GM-CSF receptor that captured their attention. Patients with Flt3 mutation showed an enormous reaction, in proteins that should in principle be normal. This indicates that the attack should be mounted here, if one is to find effective but gentle methods of cancer treatment.

"We have used tests from thirty patients with an acute type of spinal leukaemia. Compared to young people with lymphatic leukaemia, these patients have little chance of recovery. Life expectancy without treatment is about 2-3 months and only 20 percent are cured by chemotherapy. The study results can in principle also be applied to other types of cancer cells, so these results can prove to be of great importance for future cancer sufferers," says Gjertsen.

In this particular research project, Gjertsen has collaborated with colleagues from Stanford University and also several from the research milieu in Bergen, including Randi Hovland and Øystein Bruserud. With support from the cancer association, Bruserud has over the last twelve years, collected an invaluable bank of leukaemia tests. The Americans were contacted because they have developed a quick method for looking at the activation of proteins with the help of an antibody produced by mice.

"We have invaluable profiles that give us a comprehensive picture of what happens inside the cells. In spite of the huge amount of scientific research on cancer during the last ten years, there have been few important clinical results. This is mainly due to the fact that we have turned one stone at a time and studied the building blocks of the cancer cells individually. In system biology we try to look for patterns so that we can get a complete and realistic overall picture," says Gjertsen, "and adds that the use of cells collected from patients, and not static cell lines, can be the only way to get secure results."

The collaboration now continues with unabated strength, searching for energized key cancer proteins that lie under the signal line studied in the Cell article.

Bjørn Tore Gjertsen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helse-bergen.no
http://www.forskningsradet.no

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How molecules teeter in a laser field
18.01.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Discovery of enhanced bone growth could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis
18.01.2019 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>