Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Blocking Periostin Prevents Metastasis in a Mouse Cancer Model

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 22 Dec 2011
Cancer researchers have identified a protein that seems to be required for cancer cells to metastasize successfully and established secondary tumors at sites distantly removed from the original primary tumor.

Metastatic growth in distant organs is the major cause of cancer mortality, yet this process is inefficient for many cancer types and is accomplished only by a minority of cancer cells that reach distant sites.

Investigators at the Swiss Center for Experimental Cancer Research (Lausanne, Switzerland) worked with a mouse model to look for molecular keys that could enhance a tumor's ability to establish secondary tumors successfully.

They reported in the December 7, 2011, online edition of the journal Nature that a small population of cancer stem cells was critical for metastatic colonization, and that stromal niche signals expressed by potential sites of colonization were crucial to the expansion process. They found that the protein periostin (POSTN), a component of the extracellular matrix, was expressed by fibroblasts in normal tissue and in the stroma of the primary tumor. Infiltrating tumor cells needed to induce stromal POSTN expression in the secondary target organ to initiate colonization. POSTN was required to allow cancer stem cell maintenance, and blocking its function prevented metastasis.

The investigators showed that several conditions were necessary for cancer to propagate. "In particular, we were able to isolate a protein, periostin, in the niches where metastases develop," said senior author Dr. Joerg Huelsken, professor of molecular oncology at the Swiss Center for Experimental Cancer. "Without this protein, the cancer stem cell cannot initiate metastasis; instead, it disappears or remains dormant."

Experimental treatments that blocked periostin activity produced very few side effects in mice, but the investigators caution that this does not necessarily mean the same will hold true in humans.

Related Links:
Swiss Center for Experimental Cancer Research



Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.