Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Survival Niche for Cancer Cells

06.06.2011
Cancer cells do not grow equally well everywhere in the body. Often, they first create the conditions in which they can grow. Many years ago researchers discovered that solid tumors attract blood vessels to ensure their supply of nutrients by secreting specific factors.

Now the immunologist Dr. Uta Höpken (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin-Buch in the Helmholtz Association) and the hematologist Dr. Armin Rehm (Charité – Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, MDC) have shown for the first time that specific forms of lymphoma also create their own survival niche (Blood, doi:10.1182/blood-2010-11-321265)*.

Lymphoma is the term used to describe a group of cancers of the lymphatic system. Lymphoma cells are abnormal immune cells (B cells or T cells), a specific group of white blood cells (lymphocytes). Using a mouse model, Dr. Rehm and Dr. Höpken demonstrated for the first time that the dissemination of lymphoma cells and their accumulation in the lymph nodes or spleen is dependent on specific signaling or growth substances, the chemokines CCL19 or CCL21.

Chemokines normally attract immune cells to a site of infection or inflammation. As former immune cells, lymphoma cells have special antennas (receptors) on their cell surface to which these signaling substances bind. If the lymphoma cells receive the signal via their CCR7 receptor, they migrate into the lymph nodes and into specific areas within the spleen.

Paradox
CCR7 not only mediates the migration of the lymphoma cells, it is also apparently crucial for their development and survival. As the two researchers showed in a next step, the lymphoma cells proliferate in the lymph nodes or in the spleen very slowly if this receptor is absent.

However, with the aid of CCR7 the cancer cells find their survival niche in the T-cell zones of the lymph nodes and the spleen. In these zones T cells are usually made fit for defense. “It is paradoxical that lymphoma cells as former B cells find an absolutely optimal microenvironment for their growth in these T-cell zones,” Dr. Höpken said.

There the lymphoma cells crosstalk with stromal cells (connective tissue cells), which subsequently secrete increased quantities of the chemokines CCL19/CCL21. The CCR7 receptor not only mediates the homing of additional lymphoma cells to the lymph nodes or spleen, but also stimulates their proliferation.

On the other hand, the lymphoma cells themselves secrete a signaling substance (lymphotoxin) which induces the stromal cells to secrete more and more chemokines. In this way the lymphoma cells ensure their survival. This may also explain why some lymphomas are so aggressive.

In mice the researchers succeeded in breaking this vicious cycle. Using an active substance that blocks the binding of the lymphotoxins to the stromal cells, they were able to stop tumor growth. “In the future,” Dr. Rehm said, “it may be that therapeutic strategies will not target the lymphoma cells directly, but rather the connective tissue so vital for their survival.”

*Cooperative function of CCR7 and lymphotoxin in the formation of a lymphoma-permissive niche within murine secondary lymphoid organs

Armin Rehm1,2, Angela Mensen1, Kristina Schradi3, Kerstin Gerlach1, Stefanie Wittstock1, Susann Winter3,Gilbert Büchner3, Bernd Dörken1,2, Martin Lipp3, and Uta E. Höpken3

1Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumorimmunology, 13125 Berlin, Germany
2Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, 13353 Berlin, Germany
3Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Department of Tumor Genetics and Immunogenetics; 13125 Berlin, Germany

Corresponding author: Uta E. Höpken or Armin Rehm, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, 13125 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: uhoepken@mdc-berlin.de; phone : +49-30-94063330; fax: +49-30-94063390; email: arehm@mdc-berlin.de; phone : +49-30-94063229; fax: +49-30-94063884

Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

nachricht Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

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

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>