Navigation Links
BUSM researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy

A review article by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) suggests that epigenetics may be a useful target to stop the growth, spread and relapse of cancer. The findings are published online in Volume 14 of the International Journal of Molecular Science.

The term epigenetics refers to the external modifications to DNA that turn genes "on" or "off." These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells read genes.

The researchers propose that epigenetic and other changes mediate the development of cancer progenitor cells. These cells represent the early stage of cancer cell development and can grow rapidly to become full-fledged cancer. According to the researchers, progression of different cancer stages and development of metastatic potential requires differentiation of these cancer progenitor cells.

"These findings are not only important in understanding how cancer progresses, but also help in understanding how cancer progenitor cells grow and differentiate via epigenetic regulators," said Sibaji Sarkar, PhD, instructor of medicine at BUSM.

Mutated cells are more vulnerable to the environment. Some of these mutations may alter epigenetic regulation in addition to epigenetic changes occurring by external and internal influences, which impacts gene expression and regulates cell behavior, playing a profound role when normal cells develop into progenitor cancer cells.

Sarkar and his colleagues hypothesize that when the progenitor cancer cells metastasize, rapid growth halts. When differentiation is complete, the rapid growth resumes.

The researchers believe that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in this process. Once a degree of metastatic form of cancer is achieved, the genes, which cause the change, become inactive and the genes causing rapid growth are again turned on.

"The acknowledgement of epigenetic changes as key regulators of this switching is expected to generate better epigenetic drugs. It has been suggested that epigenetic drug treatment in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs may have better outcomes in preventing and treating drug-resistant cancers," he added.


Contact: Gina Orlando
Boston University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Researchers quantify toxic ocean conditions during major extinction 93.9 million years ago
2. Researchers discover how cancer invisibility cloak works
3. Oregon researchers say supplement cuts muscle loss in knee replacements
4. BUSM researchers identify molecule that could aid lung cancer detection, treatment
5. Researchers identify gene variant that raises risk for colorectal cancer from eating processed meat
6. Researchers show how plants tell the time
7. Berkeley Lab researchers get a detailed look at a DNA repair protein in action
8. Researchers capture images of open channel that moves proteins across cell membranes
9. UAlberta medical researchers discover potential new treatment for colitis
10. Older siblings cells can be passed from female dogs to their puppies in the womb, MU researchers find
11. Nitrogen fertilizer remains in soils and leaks towards groundwater for decades, researchers find
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , March ... operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and molecular ... of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure for ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario Ministry ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... LONDON , March 18, 2016 ... Established Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical ... & security companies in the border security market and ... and Europe has led ... your companies improved success. --> defence & ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler ... of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: