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It is important to demonstrate the influence of the microenvironment in the process of metastasis
Date:12/20/2007

In the work defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), an in vitro culture model of human colon cancer was created in order to reproduce the gene regulation that is expressed in these cancer cells during their growth as metastasis in the liver of patients. This in vitro culture model provides a simple tool for the study and identification of the origin of the factors regulating this expression, as well as a simple form of the therapeutic evaluation for new pharmaceutical drugs that block this route.

Cancer of the colon is the third most common kind of cancer in our society. And, in many cases, the first symptoms usually appear when the disease is already in quite an advanced state. Of those colon cancer patients who suffer metastasis, approximately 45 % will develop hepatic metastasis.

It is this theme that the Gipuzkoan biologist, Ms Amaya del Villar, deals with in her PhD, recently defended at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). It is research work in which colon cancer -generated hepatic metastasis is analysed, a disease which may be propitiated by genes that are regulated by the very microenvironment or environment of the liver.

The PhD entitled Study of the genes involved in hepatic metastasis of colon cancer and which are regulated by microenvironmental factors of the liver was led by Fernando Vidal-Vanaclocha of the Department of Cell Biology and Histology at the UPV/EHU and obtained excellent cum laude. Cooperating in drawing up the doctoral thesis was the Pharmakine company and the Hepatic Surgery Unit at the Cruces Hospital in Bilbao.

Ms Amaya del Villar lvarez is a graduate in Biological Sciences from the University of Navarra and currently works for the Pharmakine company, continuing her research into cancer and metastasis.

This study aimed, on the one hand, to create an in vitro culture model of human colon cancer that would enable re
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Contact: Irati Kortabitarte
iratik@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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