Navigation Links
Australian researchers develop treatment to treat obesity

A team of researchers from the St Vincents Campus in Sydney have developed a novel way to control the extreme weight loss, common in late stage cancer, which often speeds death.

The findings, published in Nature Medicine, suggest it may soon be possible to prevent this condition, giving people the strength to survive treatment and improve their chances of recovery.

The team of researchers from the Centre for Immunology at St Vincents Hospital and the University of New South Wales and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have shown that most common cancers produce large amounts of a molecule known as MIC-1, which in turn targets receptors in the brain that switch off appetite. Antibodies against MIC-1, already developed by St Vincents, make it possible to switch appetite back on.

Conversely, when normal and obese mice are treated with MIC-1, they eat less and lose a lot of weight, suggesting that MIC-1 may also form the basis of a treatment for severe obesity.

Professor Sam Breit at the Centre for Immunology originally cloned the MIC-1 gene. He discovered that blood levels of MIC-1 were high in many patients with advanced cancers, and correlated this with the extreme weight loss seen in these patients.

In a collaboration with Professor Herbert Herzog, Director of the Neuroscience Research Program at Garvan they then analysed the effect of this molecule on metabolism and the brain control of appetite.

This work has given us a better understanding of the part of the brain that regulates appetite. Our bodies send complex chemical signals to our brains, which interpret them and send back responses, in this case eat or dont eat. Our research indicated that MIC-1 is a previously unrecognised molecule sending a dont eat signal to the brain, said Professor Herzog.

The study showed that if a human cancer making a lot of MIC-1 is grafted onto a mouse, that mouse lost weight dramatically. When the researchers injected that mouse with an antibody that mopped up MIC-1, the weight loss was reversed. In effect, they rescued the mouse from the excessive influence of MIC-1.

It is hoped that in the near future, the MIC-1 findings will prevent a sizeable proportion of advanced cancer patients from literally wasting away. The team from St. Vincents Hospital hope to develop a human antibody and run clinical trials in the next few years.

Professor Breit who, since discovering the MIC-1 gene in the 1990s, has conducted several internationally published studies relating to the genes influence on coronary disease, miscarriage and cancer. He now believes the findings could also have a significant impact on a range of appetite-related disorders.

Injecting mice with MIC-1 protein also made them stop eating, suggesting that it may be possible to use this to advantage for treating patients with severe obesity, he said.


Contact: Susi Hamilton
University of New South Wales

Related biology news :

1. Invasive Australian jellyfish sighted in Gulf of Mexico in summer 2007
2. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
3. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
4. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
5. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
6. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
8. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
9. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
10. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
11. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "Capacitive Fingerprint Sensors - Technology and Patent Infringement Risk ... --> --> Fingerprint sensors using ... smartphones. The fingerprint sensor vendor Idex forecasts an increase ... in mobile devices and of the fingerprint sensor market ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet, ... interviewed on The RedChip Money Report television ... Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg Australia, and ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of the ... with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for ... presents this award to the company that has developed ... of the market it serves. The award recognizes the ... on customer base demands, the overall impact it has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be presenting at ... on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT ... provide a corporate overview. th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare ... ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , vice president ... --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) ... annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place in ... largest number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- --> --> ... Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, Custom Oligos, ... End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) - Global ... expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by 2020 from ... 10.1% during the forecast period. Browse 183 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: