Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When the immune system promotes tumor growth

18.02.2016

The immune system plays an important role in the prevention of cancer. So-called Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells and responsible for the elimination of cancerous cells.

Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna have now discovered that NK cells can switch and promote tumor growth, with STAT5 acting as the key regulator.


Dagmar Gotthardt and her colleagues have shown for the first time ever that NK cells produce a factor called VEGF-A that promotes tumor growth.

(Photo: Petra Kudweis)

NK cells require active STAT5 to kill tumor cells; however, when STAT5 is absent or inhibited, NK cells do the opposite: they accelerate cancer progression by promoting angiogenesis. Drugs targeting STAT5 may therefore boost tumor growth. The study was published in the high-impact journal Cancer Discovery.

The immune system protects the body against cancer cells. The Elimination of cancer cells is an important task of NK cells. For NK cells to function properly, they require the activator STAT5.

Dagmar Gotthardt, Veronika Sexl and colleagues from the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna have shown that NK cells that lack STAT5 promote the growth of cancer cells. “You can imagine STAT5 like an on/off switch. When STAT5 is present, it stimulates NK cells to act against cancer cells. If STAT5 is absent, NK cells do the opposite and incite the cancer cells to grow,” explains Gotthardt, the first author of the study.

STAT5 inhibition is the treatment of choice for many types of cancer

STAT5 is highly active in many forms of cancer such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and leukaemia. Drugs that inhibit STAT5 are a great hope for the treatment of many different tumor types. Gotthardt and her colleagues now call this strategy into question.

“These inhibitors not only target cancer cells but may also have a negative impact on the immune system and NK cells. They could promote the progress of the disease. That would be a dangerous cocktail for patients,” Gotthardt says.

For the first time ever, the researchers have shown that NK cells produce a factor called VEGF-A (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A) that promotes tumor growth. A number of different experiments have shown that STAT5 is required for the killing of tumor cells and normally suppresses the production of VEGF-A in NK cells.

If STAT5 is inhibited, VEGF-A is produced in high amounts leading to increased tumor progression. The results are of clinical relevance: One of the inhibitors that formed part of the study is already in clinical use.

Service:

The article „STAT5 is a key regulator in NK cells and acts as molecular switch from tumor surveillance to tumor promotion”, by Dagmar Gotthardt, Eva M. Putz, Eva Grundschober, Michaela Prchal-Murphy, Elisabeth Straka, Petra Kudweis, Gerwin Heller, Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath, Agnieszka Witalisz-Siepracka, Abbarna A. Cumaraswamy, Patrick T. Gunning, Birgit Strobl, Mathias Muller, Richard Moriggl, Christian Stockmann and Veronika Sexl was published in Cancer Discovery. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290
http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2016/02/16/2159-8290.CD-15...

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact

Univ.-Prof. Veronika Sexl

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxikology

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)

T +43 1 20577-2910

veronika.sexl@vetmeduni.ac.at

or

Dagmar Gotthardt. PhD

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxikology

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)

T +43 6605248399

dagmar.gotthardt@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Susanna Berger
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
susanna.berger@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/presseinformationen-...

Dr. Susanna Berger | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Success at leading conference on silicon materials science and technology in Japan

13.12.2018 | Awards Funding

NSF-supported scientists present new research results on Earth's critical zone

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes

13.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>