HOUSTON, TX Scientists from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found overexpression of tissue type transglutaminase (TG2) in ovarian cancer is associated with increased tumor cell growth and adhesion, resistance to chemotherapy and lower overall survival rates. When researchers targeted and silenced TG2 in animal models, cancer progression was reversed, suggesting the protein may also provide a novel therapeutic approach for late-stage ovarian cancer.
These findings in the July 15th issue of Cancer Research by a team of researchers led by Anil K. Sood, M.D., professor in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology, and Kapil Mehta, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at M. D. Anderson, are among the first to explore TG2's functionality in ovarian cancer.
"TG2 appears to fuel different types of cancer through multiple molecular pathways, making it an important therapeutic target," said Mehta, whose lab also has connected TG2 overexpression to drug-resistant and metastatic melanoma, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.
"Drug resistance and metastasis are major impediments to the successful treatment of ovarian cancer and until now we had little information about the role TG2 played in ovarian cancer," Sood said. "We began to see its story unfold as we translated this data from tissue samples to cell lines to animal models."
The American Cancer Society estimates 15,000 U.S. women will die from ovarian cancer this year. Most patients present with advanced stage disease that has spread beyond the primary tumor site. More than 70 percent of ovarian cancer patients will suffer a recurrence and eventually succumb to the disease.
Higher TG2, lower survival
The study, which examined 93 ovarian cancer samples of ranging stages, found that high levels of TG2 corresponded with significantly lower patient survival than those with lo
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center