Navigation Links
Nobel laureate James Watson publishes novel hypothesis on curing late-stage cancers
Date:1/8/2013

Cold Spring Harbor, NY "Although mortality from many cancers has been steadily falling, particularly those of the blood [i.e., leukemias], the more important statistic may be that so many epithelial cancers (carcinomas) and effectively all mesenchymal cancers (sarcomas) remain largely incurable."

With these words as preface, Nobel laureate James D. Watson, Ph.D., in a newly published paper that he regards "among my most important work since the double helix," sets forth a novel hypothesis regarding the role of oxidants and antioxidants in cancers that are currently incurable, notably in late-stage metastatic cancers.

At the heart of his thesis are the group of molecules that scientists call reactive oxygen species, or ROS. Noting their fundamental two-sidedness, Watson calls ROS "a positive force for life" because of their role in apoptosis an internal program that highly stressed cells use to commit suicide. It's one of the key mechanisms that have arisen through eons of evolution to weed out biological dysfunction that poses a threat to the survival of organisms. On the other hand, ROS are also well understood indeed are notorious "for their ability to irreversibly damage key proteins and nucleic acid molecules [e.g., DNA and RNA]."

When they're not needed to curb wayward or out of control cells, which is to say under normal circumstances, ROS are constantly being neutralized by anti-oxidative proteins. We are often urged to eat foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries; but, if Watson is correct about the role of ROS and antioxidants in late-stage cancer, as he writes in his new paper, "blueberries best be eaten because they taste good, not because their consumption will lead to less cancer."

Understanding why this might be so why antioxidants can in late-stage cancers actually promote cancer progression -- is central to Watson's paper, which appears online January 9 in Open Biology, a journal of Great Britain's Royal Society.

He proposes that the cell-killing ability of currently used anti-cancer therapies toxic chemotherapeutic agents such as Taxol as well as radiation treatment is mainly due to the action of ROS to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death. This would explain "why cancers that become resistant to chemotherapeutic control become equally resistant to radiotherapy." The common feature would be their common dependence upon a ROS-mediated cell-killing mechanism.

Watson, who is Chancellor Emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, then takes up the case of cancer cells largely driven by mutant proteins such as RAS and MYC. These, he notes, are often hardest to get to respond to treatment. He suggests this could be due to their high levels of ROS-destroying antioxidants. He cites recent research showing up-regulation of a gene transcription factor called Nrf2 when cells proliferate as well as when oncogenes such as RAS, MYC and RAF are active. Nrf2 controls the synthesis of antioxidants, and "this makes sense because we want antioxidants present when DNA functions to make more of itself," Watson writes.

In calling for "a much faster timetable for developing anti-metastatic drugs," the Nobel laureate wants those reading his new paper to consider a proposition he considers grossly underexplored: "Unless we can find ways of reducing antioxidant levels, late-stage cancer 10 years from now will be as incurable as it is today."


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Sanford-Burnhams Erkki Ruoslahti named to Thomson Reuters Nobel Prize watch list
2. Nobel laureate to keynote international pharmaceutical conference at URI
3. NAI Fellows Robert Langer, Leroy Hood and Member James Wynne receive US National Medals
4. Before Skyfall: 46 years of violence in James Bond movies
5. James George, MD: 2012 ASH Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology
6. Medical Tourism: Uncharted Territory for Patients James Goldberg, Author of the American Medical Money Machine, Is Offering a New Consulting Service to Medical Patients Considering “Medical Tourism” Treatment
7. Same-Sex Couples Might File Tax Refund Claims According to Watson CPA Group
8. Few Hours Left for Charitable Tax Deductions According to Watson CPA Group
9. Astro Clairvoyant Norah Guide for Premium Astrology Publishes New Blog Series on 2013 Predictions
10. Atlanta Surgeon for LASIK Eye Surgery Publishes Study on Website About Car Technology to Monitor Drowsiness
11. Zane Benefits Publishes "The Crisis in Employee Health Benefits 1999-2012"
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys ... peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing ... members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is ... Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis ... new environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical ... for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing ... ensure they are providing products and services that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Markets has announced the addition of the " ... offering. This ... and provides an updated review, including its applications in ... the total market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: