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Jamming in tumors
Date:1/29/2014

scientists followed the interaction between the cells. Messenger molecules such as chemokines are a means of communication frequently used for this purpose. They are produced by cells and bind to correspondingly shaped surface receptors. In the case of neutrophils, this is the receptor called CXCR2. It binds the chemokines CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL5. "We have seen that the concentration of the chemokines in the bone marrow, where the neutrophils originate, is low," says Dr Siegfried Weiss, head of the department in which Jablonska-Koch works. "On the other hand, we find a high concentration in the tumour, which attracts the neutrophils." Neutrophils migrate along the chemokine gradient into the tumour and once there, they themselves release the same chemokines in order to attract other neutrophils to obtain more support.

IFN-beta interferes with this communication: it makes the cells in the tumour produce fewer chemokines and no chemokine gradient is formed. "That way, fewer neutrophils enter the cancer tissue and fewer new blood vessels are formed," says Jablonska-Koch. "The tumour is not effectively connected to the vital blood supply and cannot grow efficiently." For that reason it is of therapeutical benefit to administer IFN-beta additionally. "We now better understand why IFN-beta helps in some cancers and that it is an important part of the body's own system for combating tumours," says Weiss. Their findings could help physicians to assess which patients might profit from administering IFN-beta and when neutrophils ought to be an objective of cancer therapy.


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Contact: Birgit Manno
presse@helmholtz-hzi.de
49-053-161-810
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Source:Eurekalert  

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