Navigation Links
'MicroRNA' could be key target for bowel cancer treatment

Scientists found that the molecule, called microRNA 135b, is a vital 'worker' employed by several important cancer genes to drive the growth of bowel cancers.

Drugs targeted at the microRNA could knock out the effects of multiple cancer-causing mutations at once, while tests for it could identify patients with the most aggressive disease, the researchers believe.

The research was carried out by an international team including scientists based at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, the University of Glasgow and Ohio State University in the US.

Scientists tested for microRNA 135b in 485 patients with bowel cancer and found that levels were at least four times as high in tumours as in healthy tissue, and that patients with the highest levels survived the least long.

They showed that blocking the microRNA stopped tumour growth in bowel cancer mouse models, and in half of them tumours regressed so dramatically they could no longer be seen by imaging. Mice didn't show any side-effects as a result of treatment.

The study is published today (Monday) in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell, with funding for the UK research team coming from the Kimmel Cancer Foundation, Cancer Research UK, The Marie Curie Actions Programme and a Scottish Senior Clinical Research Fellowship.

MicroRNAs are small strands of genetic material that regulate gene activity and are involved many cellular processes.

The study showed that a number of known cancer gene mutations, such as APC, PI3KCA, SRC and p53, exercise their effects through microRNA 135b.

Although treatments targeting bowel cancer mutations have been developed, patients often develop resistance. Inhibiting microRNA 135b could be an exciting way to attack cancers without resistance occurring by blocking the effects of multiple cancer-causing mutations simultaneously.

The findings also suggest that testing levels of microRNA 135b could help identify patients likely to develop aggressive bowel cancer, and who might need the most intensive treatment.

Lead author Dr Nicola Valeri, Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology and Genomics Team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

"We have shown that a specific microRNA can drive the development of bowel cancers and is a key 'worker' responsible for putting into action the instructions from many cancer-causing mutations. Patients with the highest levels of this molecule have the most difficult-to-treat cancers, and inhibiting the molecule in mice prevents tumours from growing. Although the research is at an early stage, our findings may have an important impact in the way we treat patients with bowel cancer in the future."

Professor Paul Workman, Deputy Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: "This work sheds light on the important role of microRNAs in bowel cancer and opens up a potentially exciting new avenue for cancer treatment. It also gives us a marker of disease that might prove valuable in the clinic to predict which patients have a more aggressive cancer.

"MicroRNAs play a vital role in the cells in our body, both in normal functions and in disease. We have known for a while that microRNAs are important in cancer, but their diversity of roles has meant it's been difficult to target them with drugs without causing toxic side-effects. This particular RNA has a huge advantage that might allow us to avoid this toxicity, because it is found in very low levels in normal tissue and in high levels in cancer."

Professor Owen Sansom, Deputy Director of The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute at Glasgow University, said: "This exciting work shows a single microRNA can control multiple pathways that go wrong in colon cancer and offers the hope that in the future this could be targeted in patients that have colon cancer."


Contact: Graham Shaw
Institute of Cancer Research

Related medicine news :

1. A microRNA prognostic marker identified in acute leukemia
2. Pint-size microRNAs show promise against weighty problem, researchers say
3. MicroRNAs can convert normal cells into cancer promoters
4. Hepatitis B virus promotes oncogenesis through microRNA modulation
5. MicroRNA molecule may serve as biomarker, target for brain metastases in breast cancer patients
6. Atherosclerosis: Specific microRNAs promote inflammation
7. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say 1 specific microrna promotes tumor growth and cancer spread
8. New papers identify a microRNA that drives both cancer onset and metastasis
9. Loss of MicroRNA decoy might contribute to development of soft-tissue sarcoma
10. Versatile microRNAs choke off cancer blood supply, suppress metastasis
11. MicroRNA-31 might predict lung-cancer spread
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... accessible for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want ... water by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... offering factory direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the ... bather’s style and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking for simplicity ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert is ... One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 with ... International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon ... announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 ... with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is ... and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® ... Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new 247-page ... therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... SYDNEY , Nov. 26, 2015  The total global ... nearly 7% over 2015-2016. Latin America ... Asia , (excluding Japan ), is ... continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, ... expenditure declined from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services ... investment of at least $15.8  Million to expand ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will provide ... meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical and ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 square ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: