Navigation Links
Cancer stem cells recruit normal stem cells to fuel ovarian cancer, U-M study finds

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a type of normal stem cell fuels ovarian cancer by encouraging cancer stem cells to grow.

Cancer stem cells are the small number of cells in a tumor that drive its growth and spread. Traditional cancer treatments do not kill these cells, which is why cancer treatments often fail.

In a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers looked in ovarian tissue at the mesenchymal stem cells, which are normal cells found throughout the body. These cells can form different specialized cells such as fat, bone or cartilage.

Mesenchymal stem cells are known to be helpful with wound healing, which has many scientists conjecturing that they may help combat cancer. In this study, the researchers observed that mesenchymal stem cells in ovarian tumors were different than mesenchymal stem cells from healthy ovaries. And in fact, the mesenchymal stem cells in the ovarian tumors were fueling the cancer.

"Cancer is very good at tricking the mesenchymal stem cells into doing what the cancer likes. The cancer takes the cells hostage and uses them to promote the cancer's growth," says study author Ronald Buckanovich, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School.

The researchers used mouse models and human tissue samples of both normal ovaries and ovarian cancer, to look at what happened to the mesenchymal stem cells. They also noticed the cancer-associated mesenchymal stem cells increased tumor size, primarily by increasing the number of cancer stem cells.

At the same time, the researchers saw that a type of protein called BMP2 was prevalent in the cancer-associated mesenchymal stem cells. BMP2 is a so-called master regulatory protein, and is carefully regulated in normal cell function. The researchers found more than three times the amount of BMP in the cancer-associated mesenchymal stem cells than in the normal ones. When BMP was added to cancer cells, it led to an increase in cancer stem cells.

The researchers then used a known BMP inhibitor called Noggin, and found that Noggin blocked the mesenchymal stem cells from triggering this cancer stem cell growth.

"High doses of Noggin might not be tolerated in humans," Buckanovich says. "Our next step is to figure out how to target Noggin directly to the vascular niche where the mesenchymal stem cells and cancer stem cells live. This would allow us to make it safer to use Noggin as a potential treatment for ovarian cancer."

This research must continue in the laboratory before it can be advanced to clinical trials in patients. In the meantime, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center expects to open two new clinical trials within the next year testing other therapies aimed at attacking ovarian cancer stem cells. For information, contact the Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Ovarian cancer statistics: 21,880 Americans will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and 13,850 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society


Contact: Nicole Fawcett
University of Michigan Health System

Related biology news :

1. Trastuzumab and chemotherapy improved survival in HER2-postive breast and brain cancer patients
2. UT Southwestern research reveals that significantly more genetic mutations lead to colon cancer
3. Cancer gene therapy from camels
4. Cancer data not readily available for future research
5. UT faculty improving surgical outcomes for children, cancer patients
6. Study explains why men are at higher risk for stomach cancer
7. Stem cells restore cognitive abilities impaired by brain cancer treatment
8. PSA test for men could get a second life for breast cancer in women
9. Low dose naltrexone (LDN): Harnessing the bodys own chemistry to treat human ovarian cancer
10. GNS Healthcare Collaborates with NCI in New Approach to Lung Cancer; Supercomputer Analysis to Aid in Matching Targeted Drugs to Patients
11. AACR hosts Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research Conference in San Francisco
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cancer stem cells recruit normal stem cells to fuel ovarian cancer, U-M study finds 
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced an ... its DNA library preparation products, including the ThruPLEX ... Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized for ... libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free circulating ... in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific is ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative technology ... on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 In the present ... of concern for various industry verticals such as banking, ... to the growing demand for secure & simplified access ... ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of ... equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... --> ... 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow will ... long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the workflow ... errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample barcoding ... a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA extraction, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Studies ... and human plaque and pave the way for more effective ... in cats     --> ... commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was ... Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 The Global Genomics ... professional and in-depth study on the current state ... ) , The report ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The ... markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: