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 Antibiotic resistances spread faster than so far thought
18.02.2019 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht The Lypla1 Gene Impacts Obesity in a Sex-Specific Manner
18.02.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

Im Focus: Famous “sandpile model” shown to move like a traveling sand dune

Researchers at IST Austria find new property of important physical model. Results published in PNAS

The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz wireless makes big strides in paving the way to technological singularity

19.02.2019 | Information Technology

Researchers find trigger that turns strep infections into flesh-eating disease

19.02.2019 | Health and Medicine

Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

19.02.2019 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>