Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify a gene responsible for spread of cancer in the body

03.03.2003


Researchers who are now at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center have identified a gene that promotes metastases, the spread of cancer cells through the body. This new understanding of how cancer metastasizes, linking a gene product and migration of cancer cells, may lead to therapies to stop this spread. The results of the study are published in the May 2003 issue of the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell. An advance copy of the paper can be viewed after the embargo is lifted at http://www.molbiolcell.org/in_press.shtml



Richard G. Pestell, M.D., Ph.D. and his research team have been studying the cyclin D1 gene and the protein it produces for the past decade. Now they have found that by "knocking out" this gene, the migration of cells can be halted. The migration of cancer cells through the body is a major reason why cancer is deadly.

"Patients who do not survive their cancer, often don’t die from their primary cancer, usually they die from the spread of the disease through the body. If we can understand what causes the metastasis, then we can pinpoint new targets to block the spread of disease," said Dr. Pestell, director of the Lombardi Cancer Center, chairman of Georgetown’s Department of Oncology and Charlotte Gragnani professor of oncology. "Since cancerous -- but not normal epithelial cells -- migrate, therapy targeted to cell migration would be more selective. Killing only migrating cancer cells is thus less toxic, producing fewer side effects, than current chemotherapy which targets dividing cells of all types."


"We want to make the life journey a better one for people who have cancer," added Dr. Pestell, "and we at Lombardi are always trying to think of new approaches. Improving the quality of life for people with cancer is key. Slowing down the disease may change cancer from a fatal disease to one that can be lived with like diabetes."

The research was conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where Dr. Pestell worked prior to joining the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Department of Defense. Co-authors of this study are Peter Neumeister, Fiona J. Pixley, Ying Xiong, Huafeng Xie, Koming Wu, Anthony Ashton, Michael Cammer, Amanda Chan, Marc Symons, and E. Richard Stanley.

In their Lombardi laboratories, Dr. Pestell and his colleagues are currently attempting to "fine tune" exactly how cell migration differs from cell proliferation so they can devise targeted drug therapy to stop the spread of cancer through the body.

They are also exploring a stealth anticancer weapon. They reported in the December 2002 issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology on initial research on a new modality called caging therapy that targets single malignant cells. Unlike taking a pill that goes to all cells in the body, caging therapy uses light beams in an extremely specific approach to eradicating individual cancer cells. These findings, as well as the developments described in the Molecular Biology of the Cell paper, hold the potential of significantly improving quality of life for cancer patients through the development of less toxic treatment options.


The Lombardi Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington DC area.

Editorial note: The Molecular Biology of the Cell paper includes an electron microscope video of migrating cancer cells. This can be viewed from a link available at http://www.molbiolcell.org/in_press.shtml after noon on February 28.

Cindy Fox Aisen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.molbiolcell.org/in_press.shtml

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: 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...

Im Focus: Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.

DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.

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

Gravitational waves will settle cosmic conundrum

15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Spintronics by 'straintronics'

15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells

15.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>