Navigation Links
Scientists discover cause of rare skin cancer that heals itself
Date:3/10/2011

Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) scientists under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore are part of an international team of researchers [1]who became the first in the world to discover the gene behind a rare skin cancer which grows rapidly for a few weeks before healing spontaneously, according to research published in Nature Genetics [2] today.

The peculiar behaviour of this rare self-healing cancer, called multiple self-healing squamous epithelioma (MSSE), was discovered to be caused by a failure in the gene called TGFBR1, which is a key component of a signalling pathway that can also be impaired in other cancers. This pathway is widely regarded in the field as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in cancer treatment.

Dr David Goudie, a Clinical Genetics consultant at Dundee University and a long term specialist in MSSE, said: "The unusual behaviour of this tumour has baffled scientists for over 40 years, so we're excited to have discovered the genetic faults that cause the disease. Understanding how tumours that lack TGFBR1 behave will surely help us to predict the clinical effects of drugs that target these cancer-promoting or cancer-inhibiting signals."

Said Professor Birgit Lane, the team leader and Executive Director of IMB, "We started working on this in Dundee nearly 10 years ago, but it was not until we were able to apply new approaches to the problem, through the links we have developed in Singapore, that we were together able to identify the cause of the disease."

However, Professor Birgit Lane cautioned, "The TGFBR1 gene is also part of a very important cell signalling system that is essential for many normal processes. Though it has been implicated in many other cancers before now, one cannot just go around blocking its function indiscriminately. We hope that this new found knowledge on an unusual self-healing tumour will open a door to new ways of tweaking the cell machinery more selectively in cancer therapy."

About TGFBR1 and MSSE

The TGFBR1 (Transforming Growth Factor (Beta), Receptor 1) gene makes a receptor protein through which healthy cells receive messages from their neighbours, instructing them to carry out processes essential to normal growth and development. Normally, TGFBR1 messages help block the growth of early tumours of various types. But cancer cells can interpret these messages very differently. For cancers that have managed to start growing, TGFBR1 actually promotes their growth and spread instead.

Interestingly, the reverse happens in the self-healing tumours that have an inherited fault in the TGFBR1 gene. MSSE patients with faulty TGFBR1 develop lots of small tumours but at some point there is a switch in behaviour and the tumours lacking TGFBR1 start to shrink and heal by themselves. Scientists do not yet fully understand how this happens but the result of this study has raised new approaches to studying this important signalling system and its relation to cancer.

MSSE is an extremely rare disease, with only a handful of new cases diagnosed each year. International translational collaborations between doctors and scientists, like the one underlying this study, are critical to allow for scientific breakthroughs to be made that could lead to possible cancer therapy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Chang Kai Chen
chang_kai_chen@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6442
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. USDA and Russian scientists develop high-tech crop map
2. Now, the story can be told - how scientists helped ID Amerithrax
3. Rockefeller Scientists discover new compound that rids cells of Alzheimer protein debris
4. Scripps Research scientists develop new test for pluripotent stem cells
5. Scripps Research scientists create cell assembly line
6. Scientists identify susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder
7. Scientists study control of invasive tree in western US
8. Flood-tolerant rice plants can also survive drought, say UC Riverside scientists
9. For first time, scientists show an HIV vaccine impacts the genetic makeup of the virus
10. Scientists discover genetic switch that increases muscle blood supply
11. Signaling path in brain may prevent that Im full message, UT Southwestern scientists discover
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics ... Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, ... 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical ... CHS for its high level of EMR usage ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... ... ... is proud to introduce the Fluidnatek® Electrospinning and Electrospraying ... and electrospraying equipment scales from table-top equipment for the lab to fully ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... WAKEFIELD, Mass. , Aug. 16, 2017  This year,s edition of ... global leader in life sciences workforce solutions, has made the list for ... Inc. 5000 recognizes the nation,s fastest-growing private companies based on a set ... Fast 50, which includes the fastest-growing companies in the Bay ... Inc. 5000 ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... JASIS, one of the largest Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This ... Pittsburgh), will be “New Approaches in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... Now mobile responsive, the new website makes it easy to navigate through the ... Users can now find detailed product information, educational industry content and visit the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: