Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a new cancer treatment that has proved to be effective in mice. The treatment, which is presented in the prestigious scientific journal PNAS, is based on newly discovered properties of the so-called BET bromodomain inhibitors.
A few years ago, a molecule known as “JQ1” was developed, which can block so called BET bromodomain proteins. This switch off the known cancer gene MYC thereby preventing cancer cells from dividing.
Jonas Nilsson, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the University of Gothenburg
The discovery was regarded as a major breakthrough. A problem was that JQ1 did not function optimally in animal experiments, and this means that it has not been possible to test the treatment on cancer patients.
Jonas Nilsson and his research group have developed, in collaboration with the Canadian company Zenith epigenetics, a new molecule known as “RVX2135”, which has been tested in mice with MYC-driven lymphoma. The study will be published this week in the early edition of the prestigious scientific journal PNAS and shows that the new molecule not only causes cancer cells in culture to stop growing, it also causes tumors to die. This means that the mice survive their cancer longer.
“We hypothesized that the new molecule could also switch off the MYC gene. However, our studies show that neither the JQ1 molecule nor the RVX2135 molecule have this property in these types of cells. This means that the mode of action is probably not as simple as we believed,” says Jonas Nilsson, Group Leader at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center.
Increased survival in mice
The scientists in Gothenburg also discovered that the RVX2135 molecule activates the same genes as those activated by molecules known as “HDAC inhibitors”, which are already used to treat cancer. The scientists then tested HDAC inhibitors together with the newly discovered molecules and it turned out that the combination increased survival in mice with lymphoma.
“It was also possible to reduce the dose of HDAC inhibitors when used in combination with RVX2135 and this reduced adverse effects. We see this as a breakthrough in the clinical development of this type of treatment,” Jonas Nilsson explains.
Jonas Nilsson has recently founded the Sahlgrenska Translational Melanoma Group together with surgeons and oncologists at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. This group will investigate whether the treatment can be used also for malignant melanoma.
“The work is challenging, but we believe that the prospects for success with combination treatments are good,” says Jonas Nilsson.
The article BET and HDAC inhibitors induce similar genes and biological effects and synergize to kill in Myc-induced murine lymphoma will be published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 16 June.
Link to article: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/06/13/1406722111.abstract
More information about the research project: http://www.cancercenter.gu.se/research/nilsson-lab/
Jonas Nilsson, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Tel.: +46 31 786 6768
Cell: +46 73 027 3039
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University
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