Navigation Links
Scientists identify a novel mechanism for evolution of highly aggressive cancers
Date:6/27/2011

Dr Frank McKeon, Senior Group Leader of the Stem Cell and Developmental Biology at A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), and Principal Investigator Dr Wa Xian at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), together with their counterparts from the Harvard Medical School, the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the National University of Singapore, have made the striking finding that Barrett's esophagus[1] work, published online in the journal Cell on 24 June 2011, is essential to developing therapeutics for esophageal cancer., the precursor of the most deadly esophageal cancer[2], can form without mutations in a matter of a few days. The

The scientists discovered that Barrett's esophagus arises from a very small group of embryonic cells that exist in all adults at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach. In most people, these embryonic cells are restricted to that junction. However, if the esophagus becomes damaged by acid reflux, these embryonic cells rapidly grow to exploit this opportunity and form the unusual, intestine-like tissue of Barrett's esophagus.

Using an independent mouse model to test the origins of Barrett's metaplasia[3] in adult animals, the scientists examined the molecular properties and evolution of metaplasia in mice, as a means to speeding up the development of esophageal cancer therapies in human. As treatment for late stage esophageal cancer is challenging and largely palliative, a better knowledge of the earlier, precancerous stage of this disease, such as Barrett's esophagus, serves as a prerequisite to developing therapeutic approaches.

Dr Wa, corresponding author of the publication in Cell, noted that "the exciting feature of this work is that these embryonic cells are present in everyone and do not have to be mutated to become a major threat as a high-risk cancer precursor cell. Preliminary work in the lab suggests our findings in Barrett's esophagus provide a valid model to explain a subset of particularly aggressive cancers for which modern medicine does not have therapeutic options".

Another author of the work, Dr Ho Khek Yu, an endoscopic surgeon specializing in Barrett's esophagus and Head of the Department of Medicine at National University of Singapore, added "Recent efforts to prevent the formation of esophageal cancer by removing the cells forming Barrett's esophagus before they turn cancerous have met with considerable setbacks. The study suggests a new way to prevent esophageal cancers: target these embryonic cells before they can form Barrett's esophagus. If the method is successful, we will have eradicated one major risk factor of esophageal cancer."

Corresponding author Dr Frank McKeon of the GIS and Harvard Medical School said, "we now have a great deal of information about these unusual embryonic cells that give rise to Barrett's esophagus and are working with clinicians to develop novel monoclonal antibodies to eliminate these cells before they become malignant. This type of preventive therapy directed at the precursors of these cancers is the rational approach to stamping out the disease, which has risen five-fold in the last 30 years."

Dr Yusuke Yamamoto, a senior postdoctoral fellow at the GIS, expert in bioinformatics and stem cell biology, and co-first author of the publication, noted, "I am continually amazed by the speed with which mouse genetic models, bioinformatics, and stem cell biology come together in Singapore to provide such a vivid image of disease processes and identify genes that represent the most important prevention and therapeutic targets".

Profs Barbara Knowles and Davor Solter, Senior Principal Investigators of the Mammalian Development Laboratory at the Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore commented, "An excellent piece of scientific sleuthing with a tantalizing approach to cancer prevention".

Prof Lee Eng Hin, Executive Director of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council, said, "The work is an excellent example of clinicians, bioinformaticians, stem cell biologists, and geneticists coming together in Singapore to understand disease processes. Cross-disciplinary collaborations between scientists and clinicians such as this will go far in establishing Singapore as Asia's Innovation Capital and a global research hub."


'/>"/>

Contact: Winnie Serah Lim
limcp2@gis.a-star.edu.sg
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Singapore scientists discover how to control fate of stem cells
2. Scientists Zero In on Key Melanoma Links
3. Scientists develop first ever drug to treat Celtic gene in cystic fibrosis sufferers
4. Scientists Turn Memory On, Off in Rats With Flip of Switch
5. Scientists Pinpoint Parts of Brain That Help People Recognize Themselves
6. Several methods for early diagnosis of Alzheimers disease developed by European scientists
7. Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique
8. Scientists identify key component in lethal lung cancer complication
9. Swine flu spread was much wider than first thought, scientists say
10. Einstein scientists find crucial molecule involved in spread of breast cancer
11. Scientists create humanized mouse model for hepatitis C
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ProVest ... the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive ... rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth with several health ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals ... the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early registration for the ... at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The annual iaedp™ Symposium ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care ... have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented ... the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is ... events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and ... apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans ... frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. ... big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected to ... TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... HORSHAM, Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 ... received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food ... (BLA) seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of ... response letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to ... of moderately to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, ... tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: