Navigation Links
Dioxin-like chemical messenger makes brain tumors more aggressive
Date:10/6/2011

A research alliance of Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), jointly with colleagues of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig, have discovered a new metabolic pathway which makes malignant brain tumors (gliomas) more aggressive and weakens patients' immune systems. Using drugs to inhibit this metabolic pathway is a new approach in cancer treatment. The group's results have been published in the prestigious specialist journal Nature.

Glioma is the most frequent and most malignant brain tumor in adults. In Germany, about 4,500 people are newly diagnosed with glioma every year. About 75 percent of such tumors are considered particularly aggressive with an average life expectancy of eight months to two years. The standard treatment is surgery to remove the tumor as completely as possible, followed by radiotherapy, usually in combination with chemotherapy. However, results are unsatisfactory, because these tumors are very resilient and soon start growing back. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new treatment approaches.

Tumors grow more aggressively and immune system is weakened

The Helmholtz Junior Research Group "Experimental Neuroimmunology" led by Professor Dr. Michael Platten of DKFZ and the Department of Neurooncology of Heidelberg University Hospital and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) headed by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Wick have come across the kynurenin molecule in their studies of human cancer cells and in the mouse model. Kynurenin is formed when the amino acid tryptophan a protein component taken in with food is broken down in the body. "We have been able to detect increased levels of kynurenin in cancer cells of glioma patients with particularly aggressive tumors," Professor Michael Platten explained. The current research results from Heidelberg show that this link also appears to exist in other types of cancer such as cancers of the bladder, bowel or lungs.

It was even more astonishing for the investigators to find that kynurenin activates a protein known as dioxin receptor. This, in turn, triggers a cascade of chemical reactions which ultimately promote tumor growth and weaken the immune system. So far, it had only been known that the dioxin receptor, scientifically called aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), is activated by environmental toxins. "Why this receptor is even present in body cells and which is its activation partner in the body, was yet unknown," says Dr. Christiane Opitz, first author of the research article. "Kynurenin seems to have very similar effects as dioxin, but it is formed by the body itself," said Professor Platten.

Yet another new discovery was presented by the group: The amino acid tryptophan was broken down in cancer cells by a specific enzyme called tryptophan dioxygenase, or TDO for short, which scientists had previously found primarily in liver cells. "It came as a surprise to us that TDO is also active in cancer cells and strongly so in particularly aggressive tumors."

Searching for substances to specifically inhibit this metabolic pathway

The newly discovered metabolic pathway is a potential target for cancer treatment. The intention is to inhibit tumor growth and strengthen the immune system. "We will start searching for substances that specifically inhibit this metabolic pathway and may be used as potential antitumor drugs," said Professor Wolfgang Wick envisioning the next steps ahead.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Michael Platten
michael.platten@med.uni-heidelberg.de
49-062-215-66804
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Chemical tags likely to affect metabolism, cancer development
2. NutriLuxe Offers Personal, At-Home Body Biochemical Balance Test
3. University of Michigan scientists identify chemical in bananas as potent inhibitor of HIV infection
4. Researchers discover chemical that may protect hearts of muscular dystrophy patients
5. SRI International Researchers to Present Work on Early Detection Tool for Neglected Tropical Diseases at 2010 American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting
6. Workplace Chemicals May Boost Breast Cancer Risk
7. Exposure to 3 classes of common chemicals may affect female development
8. ACS Webinar features tips for finding and building a career in public policy and chemical industry
9. Chemicals in Beauty Products Tied to Early Puberty in Girls
10. FDA to Re-examine Anti-Bacterial Chemical in Soaps, Cleansers
11. Two New Phytochemicals with Anti-Inflammatory Activity Found in Noni Fruit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Give To Cure today announced that it is ... Give To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find cures faster ... through a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in transactions among ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... announced the election of Patrick McDermott as Chairman of the National Board of Directors. ... Pat as Chairman of the Board,” stated Leslie A. Chambers , APDA President ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... CitiDent, announces that it is now welcoming orthodontist, Dr. Amanda Cheng, to ... a complete range of oral health care, including general dentistry, cosmetic treatments, periodontics, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Health and wellness is a topic that should concern all Americans; however, it ... illness. Migraines are a severe form of a headache and often are accompanied by ... pain on their worst enemy, the feeling can last for many hours and be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Moscow, Russia (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... update has a completely new user interface design and the developer has fixed known ... with those they want to on their phone while not consuming any of their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... Chairman and CEO, will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s ... York, NY at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, ... Immunotherapy Panel discussion taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. ... approximately one hour after the conclusion of the live event. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ALBANY, New York , February 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... A new Transparency Market Research report states that the ... bn in 2014 and is predicted to reach US$185.9 ... a CAGR of 6.50% from 2014 to 2020. The ... Market: (Branded/Generic/Over-the-counter, Chemical/Biological, Captive/Contract Manufactured, by Geography, and by ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... previously announced underwritten secondary offering of 11,027,558 shares of ... of affiliates of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs.  The shares ... price of $96.45 per share. The selling stockholders will ... Zimmer Biomet nor any of its directors, officers or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: