Imagine you're fighting for your life but no matter how hard you hit, your opponent won't go down.
The same can be said of highly treatment-resistant cancers, such as head and neck cancer, where during radiation and chemotherapy some cancer cells repair themselves, survive and thrive. Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, but the late detection and treatment resistance result in a high mortality rate.
Now, University of Michigan researchers have found that a particular protein—TRIP13—encourages those cancer cells to repair themselves. And they have identified an existing chemical that blocks this mechanism for cell repair.
"This is a very significant advance, because identifying the function of the protein that fuels the repair of cancer cells and having an existing chemical that blocks the process, could speed the process of moving to clinical trials," said principal investigator Nisha D'Silva, U-M professor of dentistry and associate professor of pathology.
Typically, if scientists discover a promising drug therapy target, it takes years to develop drug compounds from scratch and move these into clinical trials.
If cell DNA is damaged and the cell cannot repair the damage, the cell dies. In head and neck cancers, D'Silva and colleagues showed that cancer cells that overexpress TRIP13 were able to repair their DNA enough to survive and continue to grow as cancer.
"Targeting this repair mechanism with specific drugs could increase effectiveness of treatment and improve survival of cancer patients," D'Silva said. "And given the overexpression of TRIP13 in several treatment-resistant cancers, this strategy will likely be important for multiple cancers."
The study, "TRIP13 promotes error-prone nonhomologous end joining and induces chemoresistance in head and neck cancer," is scheduled to appear online July 31 in Nature Communications. Rajat Banerjee of the U-M School of Dentistry is first author.
Laura Bailey | Eurek Alert!
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences