Navigation Links
York U researchers uncovering how ovarian cancer resists chemotherapy

TORONTO, March 2, 2011 York University researchers have zeroed in on a genetic process that may allow ovarian cancer to resist chemotherapy.

Researchers in the university's Faculty of Science & Engineering studied a tiny strand of our genetic makeup known as a MicroRNA, involved in the regulation of gene expression. Cancer occurs when gene regulation goes haywire.

"Ovarian cancer is a very deadly disease because it's hard to detect," says biology professor Chun Peng, who co-authored the study. By the time it's diagnosed, usually it is in its late stages. And by that point there's really no way to treat the disease. Even when the disease is discovered in its early stages, chemotherapy doesn't always work," she says.

Peng was among a team of researchers that discovered a receptor, ALK7, that induces cell-death in epithelial ovarian cancer cells. They have now discerned that microRNA 376c targets this crucial receptor, inhibiting its expression and allowing ovarian cancer cells to thrive.

"Our evidence suggests that microRNA 376c is crucial to determining how a patient will respond to a chemotherapeutic agent," says Peng. "It allows cancer cells to survive by targeting the very process that kills them off," she says.

In examining tumours taken from patients who were non-responsive to chemotherapy, researchers found a higher expression of microRNA 376c and a much lower expression of ALK7.

Peng believes that this research is a step towards being able to make chemotherapy drugs more effective in the treatment of the disease.

"Further study is needed, but ultimately if we can introduce anti-microRNAs that would lower the level of those microRNAs that make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, we will be able to make chemotherapy more effective against ovarian cancer," Peng says.

She urges women to educate themselves about the risk factors and symptoms of the disease. For more information, visit .

Peng is a world expert in the area of ovarian cancer and the molecular basis of complications in pregnancy. Her research on chemo-resistance has also contributed to knowledge and prediction of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy disorder that is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal complications and death.

The article, "MicroRNA 376c enhances ovarian cancer cell survival by targeting activin receptor-like kinase 7: implications for chemoresistance," was published in the Journal of Cell Science.


Contact: Melissa Hughes
416-736-2100 x22097
York University

Related biology news :

1. Researchers predict age of T cells to improve cancer treatment
2. Researchers looking at a rare disease make breakthrough that could benefit everyone
3. Researchers develop curious snapshot of powerful retinal pigment and its partners
4. 20 researchers selected as 2011 Leopold Leadership Fellows
5. Researchers from Hebrew U., US discover how mercury gets into fish we eat
6. Canadian researchers first worldwide to generate pluripotent stem cells from horses
7. Researchers have found how brain cells control their movement to form the cerebral cortex
8. Cleveland Clinic researchers honored for contributions to science and technology
9. UT researchers crack code to harmful brown tides
10. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers describe the pump that bacteria use to resist drugs
11. Researchers achieve a full film frame of a family of proteins essential for cell function
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... November 20, 2015 NXTD ) ... on the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... Pereira , was recently interviewed on The RedChip ... on this weekend on Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg ... --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... PHILADELPHIA , Nov. 18, 2015  As new ... in children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges ... counsel families and patients. In addition, as more children ... into a patient,s adulthood and old age. ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... November 17, 2015 Paris ... 2015.  --> Paris , qui ... DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé ... passeports et empreintes sur la même surface de balayage. ... et l,autre pour les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the Academy of ... formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA Executive Director ... Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA Headquarters in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) ... research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing ... lower margins but higher volume share for the ... and scale, however, margins in the CRO industry ... (CRO) Market ( ), finds that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" ... reported financial results for the quarter ended September ... in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial ... States ," said Andrew Rae , ... regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: