Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increases risk of lung cancer

25.07.2012
In addition to the well-known risk factor of smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increases lung cancer risk.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research details one novel mechanism of this risk: long-term oxygen depletion stimulates signals that promote tumor growth.

In addition, this early study – performed in animal models – shows that tumors fueled by these COPD-induced signals may be especially susceptible to prevention or perhaps even treatment with drugs that turn off these same signals, namely VEGFR-2 and EGFR inhibitors.

“At least in animal models, this study shows an important pathway activated in lung tumors arising in poorly oxygenated regions of the lung that isn’t activated to nearly the same degree in other lung cancers,” says York Miller, MD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and professor in the Department of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the paper’s senior author.

“There are probably other mechanisms driving lung cancer in COPD as well – for example, inflammation is also very likely playing in – but this paper shows that the hypoxic sensing pathway is specifically activated in these COPD lung cancer models and that this sensing pathway is to a large degree driving tumor growth,” Miller says.

Specifically, his study used animal models designed to develop cancer, which the group placed in high altitude chambers set to mimic the chronic oxygen depletion of found in parts of the lung affected by COPD. Mice in the hypoxic condition developed larger tumors than mice given normal oxygen, but, according to Miller, what was especially striking is the reason for this tumor growth.

“We saw that tumor growth in the hypoxic environment – which mimics that of COPD conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema – is due to signaling by HIF-2a. This HIF-2a in turn activates cancer growth promoting mechanisms including VEGF and the EGFR ligand, TGFa, which are growth factors involved in stimulating cell proliferation and the development of new blood vessels,” Miller says.

Likewise, just as tumors that arise in hypoxic conditions do so through turning on pathways that lead to the over-production of VEGF and TGFa, so too are these tumors especially susceptible to cancer therapies that block these growth factors. Sure enough, animal models given the drug vandetanib – a combined VEGFR/EGFR inhibitor – failed to develop cancer under hypoxic conditions.

“Chemoprevention hasn’t been done successfully for lung cancer,” Miller says, “but this approach of VEGF/EGFR inhibitors for patients with COPD and extreme lung cancer risk may be something that should be explored further.”

Miller imagines the next step is a review of patient records to discover if COPD lung cancer patients who happened to be treated with VEGF/EGFR inhibitors, in fact, had better tumor response than patients with normal lung function and similar tumors.

“Right now it’s not a treatment,” Miller says, “but it’s an exciting line of inquiry.”

Funding provided in part by NCI P50 CA58187, NCI RO1 CA164780 and a VA Merit Review Award.

Garth Sundem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu
http://www.coloradocancerblogs.org/news/how-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-increases-risk-of-lung-cancer

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plumbene, graphene's latest cousin, realized on the 'nano water cube'

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New flatland material: Physicists obtain quasi-2D gold

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New Boost for ToCoTronics

23.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>