Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
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



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Ibuprofen May Restore Immune Function in Older Individuals

New research suggests that macrophages from the lungs of old mice respond differently to infections than those of young mice, and ibuprofen given to the mice reversed these changes. New research using lab mice suggests that the solution to more youthful immune function might already be a common over-the-counter pain reliever.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Hair follicle (blue) being attacked by T cells (green) (Photo courtesy of Christiano Lab/Columbia University Medical Center).

Hair Restoration Method Clones Patients’ Cells to Grow New Hair Follicles

Researchers have developed of a new hair restoration approach that uses a patient’s cells to grow new hair follicles. In addition, the [US] Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Leica Microsystems launches the inverted research microscope platform Leica DMi8 (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New Inverted Microscope Designed to Readily Adapt to Changing Research Demands

A new inverted microscope for biotech and other life science laboratories was designed to readily accommodate modifications and upgrades to allow it to keep current with changing research demands and interests.... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.