Navigation Links
Lawson researchers take control of cancer

LONDON, ON According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in four Canadians will die of cancer. This year alone, the disease will kill an estimated 75,000 people. With incidence rates on the rise, more cancer patients are facing grave prognoses. Fortunately, Lawson Health Research Institute's Dr. John Lewis, Dr. Ann Chambers, and colleagues have found new hope for survival. Their new study released today in Laboratory Investigation shows that maspin, a cellular protein, can reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells - but only when it is in the nucleus.

Maspin is believed to inhibit the formation, development, and spread of tumors in several aggressive cancers, including breast, ovarian, and head and neck cancers. Yet efforts to use this information to predict how cancer patients will fare have been challenging; the presence of maspin has been linked to both good and bad prognoses. Dr. Lewis, Dr. Chambers, and their team believed that this inconsistency was caused by the location of maspin in the cell, whether in the nucleus or in the cytoplasm, and sought to test this theory.

To assess the effects of maspin on tumor growth and development, they tested two aggressive cancers: a highly invasive head and neck cancer, and a breast cancer known to spread to the lymph nodes and the lungs. The team introduced two forms of maspin into the cancer cells, one that went into the nucleus and one that was blocked from the nucleus. Then they injected the cells into both chicken embryo and mouse models of cancer and asked the simple question: which one slowed the cancer down?

It turned out the answer was simple: when maspin was allowed to get into the nucleus of the cancer cells, the disease's ability to spread was significantly limited. In fact, the incidence of metastasis was lowered from 75% to 40%. When maspin was not established in the nucleus; however, this ability was reversed and cancer cells were far more likely to spread. These findings demonstrate that the location of maspin within the cell significantly influences cancer cells' behavior, determining how aggressive the disease will be and how positive patient outcomes will be.

"The difference is night and day," Dr. Lewis says. "Metastasis is the cause of 90% of cancer deaths. We can now clearly see that maspin is working in the nucleus to dramatically reduce both the extent and the size of distant metastases."

"This study resolves a mystery in which maspin was sometimes linked with poor patient prognosis and sometimes with good patient prognosis," Dr. Chambers explains. "Our new work suggests that when maspin is located in the nucleus it blocks cancer growth and spread. This study may help doctors to understand how aggressive a patient's cancer will be, and may also lead to new targets for drug development."


Contact: Sonya Gilpin
519-685-8500 x75852
Lawson Health Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Professor Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Lawson is awarded the 2011 Herman Skolnik Award
2. U researchers look to dogs to better understand intricacies of bone cancer
3. Penn researchers help graft olfactory receptors onto nanotubes
4. U of M researchers may have discovered key to help women fight infections during pregnancy
5. Behavior 2011 to draw global contingent of more than 1,100 animal researchers to IU next week
6. U of M researchers discover gene required to maintain male sex throughout life
7. Caltech researchers create the first artificial neural network out of DNA
8. Western researchers receive $600,000 to study Prion diseases and Alzheimers
9. Researchers find potential key for unlocking biomass energy
10. Researchers present new trends in HIV cure research, call for proactive outreach programs to prevent HIV transmission in injecting drug users, and demand increased commitments to improving maternal and child health
11. E-health records should play bigger role in patient safety initiatives, researchers advocate
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, ... today that it has released a new version of ... customers in North America have ... IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified ... are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" or the "Company") today ... to its Board of Directors to replace Dr. ... wealth of experience as co-founder of Resverlogix, with expertise in ... --> --> Dr. Wong remarked, "I am ... Zenith,s long standing expertise in epigenetics and the advanced stage ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... announced a new globally touring exhibition Jurassic World: The Exhibition, opening in March ... Exhibition will embark on a worldwide tour including several North American tour dates. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the ... acquired Cypher Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics company ... software solutions. The San Diego -based ... Cypher CEO and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , Ph.D., ...  Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 30, 2015  HUYA ... China,s pharmaceutical innovations, today announced ... Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) to foster collaboration between ... Korean development and commercialization of healthcare products for the ... potential as an important source of new innovative preclinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: