Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wisconsin research team reveals novel way to treat drug-resistant brain tumor cells

04.06.2012
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison explains why the incurable brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is highly resistant to current chemotherapies.

The study, from the brain-tumor research lab of Dr. John Kuo, assistant professor of neurological surgery and human oncology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health, also reports success for a combination therapy that knocks out signaling of multiple members of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family in brain-cancer cells.

The late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died of GBM in 2009. People diagnosed with GBM live on average for only 15 months after diagnosis, even after undergoing aggressive surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Earlier research from Dr. Kuo and other scientists showed that GBM cancer stem cells escape current treatments and proliferate rapidly to cause tumor recurrence.

Several years ago, research suggested that a drug engineered to target EGFR signaling might work against GBM because many brain cancers carried EGFR mutations. Excessive and abnormal EGFR signaling spurs the growth of cancer cells. Although cetuximab, a monoclonal-antibody drug, was successful in clinical trials for patients with lung, colorectal, and head and neck cancers, it failed against GBM.

Research by Dr. Paul Clark, a scientist in Kuo's lab and the study's lead author, shows why. When cetuximab treatment switches off EGFR activity and should inhibit cancer-cell growth, cancer stem cells compensate by turning on two other EGFR family receptors (ERBB2 and ERBB3) and continue to grow. One of these receptors, ERBB2, is implicated in certain types of chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer. Fortunately, another novel drug already approved by the FDA, lapatinib, inhibits ERBB2 activity and signaling by multiple EGFR members.

This study shows that cancer stem-cell growth was markedly inhibited by lapatinib treatment, which results in combined knockout of multiple EGFR family members.

"This is good news, because these drugs target an important mechanism for the (GBM) cancer cells to grow so quickly and evade current therapies, and these molecularly targeted drugs are also well-tolerated by patients and have minimal side effects," Dr. Clark said.

Kuo, director of the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program at UW Health and chair of the Carbone Cancer Center brain tumor group, said that results of several brain cancer clinical trials with these novel drugs and other new strategies are pending or underway.

Susan Lampert Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwhealth.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht UTMB researchers have discovered a new antiviral mechanism for dengue therapeutics
14.07.2020 | University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

nachricht Scientists use nanoparticle-delivered gene therapy to inhibit blinding eye disease in rodents
08.07.2020 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Color barcode becomes ISO standard

14.07.2020 | Information Technology

New substance library to accelerate the search for active compounds

14.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Green is more than skin-deep for hundreds of frog species

14.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>