Navigation Links
Lung cancer: Molecular scissors determine therapy effectiveness
Date:3/17/2009

In the past few years, a number of anti-cancer drugs have been developed which are directed selectively against specific key molecules of tumor cells. Among these is an antibody called cetuximab, which attaches to a protein molecule that is found in large amounts on the surface of many types of cancer cells. When this surface molecule, called epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGF-R for short, is blocked by cetuximab, the cancer cell receives less signals stimulating cell division.

Clinical studies of non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most frequent type of lung cancer, have shown so far that only part of the patients treated with cetuximab benefit from the treatment. Therefore, doctors are urgently searching for biomarkers which reliably predict responsiveness to the antibody therapy.

Professor Heike Allgayer heads the Department of Experimental Surgery of the Mannheim Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg and the Clinical Cooperation Unit "Molecular Oncology of Solid Tumors" at DKFZ. The scientist suspects that the therapeutic antibody can disarm, in particular, individual cancer cells that have detached from the primary tumor, invade other tissues and grow into secondary tumors there. Therefore, Allgayer and her team focused on lung cancer cells' ability to metastasize. Indeed, the investigators were the first to show in lung cancer cell lines that cetuximab inhibits growth and invasion of cancer cells and reduces the frequency of metastasis.

For invading surrounding healthy tissue, cancer cells needs specific proteins which act like molecular scissors to cut a trail for them. One of these cutting tools is the u-PAR protein which is considered a marker molecule for the invasion ability of cancer cells. Allgayer's team found out that cancer cells produce less u-PAR after treatment with cetuximab: The antibody appears to block the cell's u-PAR production.

Allgayer's team also showed that non-small cell lung cancer is resistant to cetuximab treatment, in particular, when the cancer cells produce large amounts of u-PAR. When the researchers switched off u-PAR production using a genetic trick, the cells responded to cetuximab again.

"Our results show, for the first time, that u-PAR might be an indicator of the effectiveness of cetuximab treatment in non-small cell lung cancer," Heike Allgayer says. "The more u-PAR the cells produce, the less they are responsive to the drug." This conclusion is in line with first observations made in lung cancer patients. Tumor cells of patients who did not respond to cetuximab usually produced higher amounts of the molecular scissors u-PAR.

It came as a surprise for Allgayer that EGF-R itself, the target molecule of the drug cetuximab, did not correlate with responsiveness. Further investigations are needed to verify these results. "We want to find possibilities to prescribe the drug only for those patients who can actually benefit from it," says Allgayer, a doctor and scientist. "Finding suitable biomarkers is one of the most urgent tasks when introducing novel, target-specific therapeutics. "


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstaedt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?
2. From Hot Flashes to Breast Cancer: ZRT Labs Hormone Testing Catches On As Women Consider Safer, More Natural Options.
3. NCBA Statement on 2007 WCRF/AICR Second Expert Report on Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer:
4. Mislabled Supplement Spurred Prostate Cancer: Report
5. Mislabeled Supplement Spurred Prostate Cancer: Report
6. Pancreatic cancer: The smaller the tumor, the better your chances, study shows
7. Patrick Swayzes Diagnosis With Pancreatic Cancer: a Statement From the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
8. A new way to fight cancer: the silver shield
9. Stem cells and cancer: Scientists investigate a fine balancing act
10. Fighting Cancer: Historic Anti-Asbestos Legislation Moving Forward With Support of Meso Foundation
11. With Prostate Cancer: Waiting for Symptoms Is Not an Option
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, ... Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid ... to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The ... demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, ... to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ARBOR, Mich. , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device ... precise destruction of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... Stopek, PhD ... ... Veteran medical device executive ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ALLENTOWN , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy ... a business partnership to offer a strategic hub service ... PMD Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, ... A spirometer is a medical device used ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named ... Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff ... 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia ... AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: