Navigation Links
Cancer cells spread by releasing 'bubbles', according to an MUHC study
Date:4/21/2008

This release is available in French.

Montreal, April 21, 2008 A new fundamental mechanism of how tumour cells communicate has just been discovered by the team of Dr. Janusz Rak at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in collaboration with Dr Guha from the University of Toronto. The cancer cells are able to communicate with their more healthy counter-parts by releasing vesicles. These bubble-like structures contain cancer-causing (oncogenic) proteins that can trigger specific mechanisms when they merge into non or less-malignant cells. These findings could change our view on how cancerous tissues work and lead to major clinical innovations. They were published on April 20 in the on-line edition of Nature Cell Biology.

The surface of some brain tumour cells has long been known to express a mutated version of what is called the variant III epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII). Although this factor is expressed only in a fraction of tumour cells, it has a major impact on the malignancy of the whole tumor. How could this cellular minority have such an important impact" This mechanism was still unknown until now.

This study shows that the mutated EGFRvIII triggers production of small vesicles that project from the cell membrane and that carry mutated copies of EGFRvIII on their surfaces. They were baptised oncosomes. Surprisingly enough, this shows that oncoproteins are not always confined to the cell that produced them. In this case they even migrate!

Oncosomes will migrate until they fuse with another cell, either healthy or benign tumoral. Oncogenic protein AGFRvIII then becomes integrated in the membrane of the recipient cell and starts stimulating specific metabolic pathways to make it act in an aberrant and malignant way. Although this may be a transient event, the changes could impact tumor behaviour by more rapid increases in cell numbers and by stimulation of blood vessel growth, hallmarks of malignant brain tumors.

With this information we can imagine that many mutant proteins are not necessarily confined to the cells that make them, but rather can migrate and spread around as cargo of oncosomes, a process that could be referred to as formation of the oncogenic field effect, explained Dr. Rak. It demonstrates that cancer is a multi-cell process, where the cells talk to one another extensively. This goes against the traditional view that a single mutated cell will simply multiply uncontrollably to the point of forming a tumour. This discovery opens exciting new research avenues, but we also hope that it will lead to positive outcomes for patients.

Indeed, the presence of oncosomes (containing EGFRvIII or other proteins) in blood of cancer patients could become a clinical marker, meaning that doctors could screen for a tumours molecular characteristics instead of having to perform invasive surgery or biopsy. Currently, in the case of brain cancer, this very precise assessment cannot be performed without removing the tumour and therefore opening a patients skull. However, the assay and analysis of oncosomes would potentially only require taking a small sample of blood or cerebrospinal fluid. This would be a step in ensuring patient comfort and choosing the best therapeutic strategy for them, factors that are key in the journey towards personalized medicine in a hopefully not-too-distant future.


'/>"/>
Contact: Isabelle Kling
isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-934-1934
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Thousands of volunteers needed to help bring cure for cancer closer
2. Many Cancer Survivors Are Overweight and Sedentary: Study
3. Study reveals inaccuracies in studies of cancer treatment
4. Cancer survivors have low levels of physical activity and high levels of obesity
5. Obesity, inactivity as common among cancer survivors as rest of Canadians, study shows
6. Exercise Combats Cancer Fatigue
7. Dealing Cervical Cancer a Knockout Blow
8. Talk Therapy Proves Effective for Terminal Cancer Patients
9. Vitamin D and breast cancer risk
10. Study finds patients overestimate cancer screening history
11. Millions of Euros could be saved if breast cancer follow-ups were led by specialist nurses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... CONTACT:, Glenn Vallecillos, MD, ... plastic surgeon Dr. Glenn Vallecillos experiments SculpSure, the hot, new, aesthetic, ... surgery has been centered around that idea that to achieve ones desired results ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... Murfreesboro, TN (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 ... ... EHR mobility has not kept pace. Enovate Medical has introduced an innovative workstation ... 20 years of supporting nurses, the Encore Mobile EHR Workstation offers a lightweight, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Empowering ... Francis' goals for each and every seminar, session and class she offers. ... five different brainwave tools which help energize creativity, focus mental functions, enhance athletic ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... MAP Revenue Cycle Solutions ... Pilley has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. , The need for ... a shift that demands the transition from pay-for-service to pay-for-performance models. By delivering ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Top neuroendocrine cancer doctors, nurses and specialists from ... February 21 - 23 in Beaver Creek, CO. It was announced today by Cindy ... year in Beaver Creek, hosting over 60 faculty members and addressing unmet needs of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... Maine and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. , ... Health Information Exchange (HIE), announced today it is ... medicine platform. HealthInfoNet,s HIE contains 98% of all ... all Maine hospitals and over 500 ... Board of Directors, HealthInfoNet plans to deploy Orion Health,s ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... LONDON , February 16, 2017 ... die Verbesserung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit haben in der Medizinproduktebranche ... richtet die globale Medizinproduktebranche den Blick auf unmittelbar ... die bevorstehende Implementierung in diesen Regionen. ... ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017 OTTO Health LLC ... of Product Evan Frankel will speak at the ... on Feb. 19–23, 2017 in Orlando, Fla. ... Use Telehealth as a Tool for Network Management " during ... The 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition brings together ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: