Navigation Links
Key to treating cancer may be finding its original cell
Date:8/11/2008

DURHAM, N.C. Cancer biologists are turning their attention to the normal cells that give rise to cancers, to learn more about how tumor growth might be stopped at the earliest opportunity.

"Identifying the specific, normal cells that cancers come from can provide critical insight into how cancers develop," said Robert Wechsler-Reya, an associate professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center. "This may help us develop more rational and effective approaches to treatment."

Every cancer comes from a normal cell. The hard part is finding the cell at the root of each particular subtype of cancer. For the first time, the Duke team has identified two types of cells in the brain that can give rise to the malignant brain tumor medulloblastoma. This dangerous cancer, which occurs most commonly in children, is currently treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, which have extremely severe side effects, said Wechsler-Reya, who is a member of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.

To find the normal cells at the root of medulloblastoma, Wechsler-Reya's laboratory, in collaboration with Brandon Wainwright's laboratory at the University of Queensland in Australia, created mouse models of medulloblastoma by turning off the patched gene, a key regulator of cell growth in the developing brain cerebellum. In particular, they tested the effects of shutting off patched in granule neuron precursors (GNPs), which can only make one particular type of nerve cell (neuron), or in stem cells, which can make all the different cell types in the cerebellum.

When they deleted patched in the neuron precursors, 100 percent of the mice developed medulloblastoma. Deleting patched from stem cells initially led to the formation of many more stem cells. However, most of these stem cells went on to form normal cell types within the cerebellum. Only the patched-less stem cells that gave rise to GNPs went on to form medulloblastoma tumors.

According to Wechsler-Reya, these studies provide the first definitive proof that medulloblastoma can be triggered in a granule neuron precursor or a stem cell. But even more importantly, they suggest that when it comes to cancer formation, the cell type in which a mutation happens is as important as the mutation itself. Although stem cells that lack patched also gave rise to other forms of brain cells, those cells did not form the tumors.

"Simply mutating a gene is not enough to cause cancer," Wechsler-Reya said. "The mutation has to happen in the right cell type at the right time. In the case of patched, GNPs provide the critical context for tumor formation."

Wechsler-Reya said that cancer biologists need to learn more about the genes that regulate proliferation (cell division), differentiation, survival, and programmed cell death in normal cells. A mutation in a proliferation gene, for example, can send the cell on a path of exaggerated division of cells -- becoming a fast-growing tumor. Understanding the way these genes are controlled during normal development can shed light on how they go awry in human cancers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study provides clues to preventing and treating cancer spread
2. Treating ADHD Symptoms Without Medication: Free Special Report Examines Alternative ADHD Treatments
3. Treating rare breast cancer with radiation therapy may lower recurrence rate
4. UT Southwestern launches study of surgical option for treating diabetic and other neuropathies
5. Louisiana Improves Law for Treating Mentally Ill
6. New System Devised To Guide Doctors Treating Patients With Symptomatic Myocardial Bridging
7. New system devised to guide doctors treating patients with symptomatic myocardial bridging
8. NACDS Praises House Legislation to Delay Medicaid Cuts, Aid Pharmacies in Treating Patients
9. Webinar on June 25 to Focus on Opportunity for Treating Chronic Pain, Migraine and Muscle Spasticity Through Inhibition of Neurotransmitter Glutamate
10. HUMIRA(R) (adalimumab) Data Show That Treating Early Rheumatoid Arthritis With Combination Treatment Resulted in Cost Savings From Improved Work Productivity
11. New Heart Ultrasound Research Shows Hope for Diagnosing and Treating Fatal Heart Conditions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ ... during the summer of 2016. The program was made possible by a Pennsylvania ... Department of Health and Human Services Administration. The broadcast, Use Your Head: ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Russ DiGilio ... the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during National ... Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the participation ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group, the ... advocacy groups, has aligned with Upstage Lung Cancer in efforts to combat lung cancer, ... Michael J. Hennessy, Jr said, “CURE Media Group is honored to team up with ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Fla (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... smarter modes of access for customers and employees that are both engaging and ... 7 with Service Smart Technology, the software company revealed today its plans to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STAT courier is pleased to announce ... service for Texas, they are expanding their presence in Dallas. One of the most ... will bring new jobs to the Dallas and Forth Worth market. STAT takes pride ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices Market ... report, "Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices Market Outlook to ... Glaucoma Surgery Devices market. The report provides value, ... and average prices (USD) within market segement - ... company shares and distribution shares data for each ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Global Interventional Radiology Market: ... global interventional radiology market analyzes the current and ... an elaborate executive summary, including a market snapshot ... sub-segments. The research is a combination of ... bulk of our research efforts along with information ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has been recognized ... Top Workplaces National Standard. To learn more about ... ... Inc.) ... survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a research firm specializing in organizational ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: