../Morning Post
Posted March 18 , 2010
____________________
Aging Cancer Cells

New attack on cancer forces cells to grow old & die

CHICAGO - Instead of killing off cancer cells with toxic drugs, scientists have discovered a molecular pathway that forces them to grow old and die, they said.

Cancer cells spread and grow because they can divide indefinitely. But a study in mice showed that blocking a cancer-causing gene called Skp2 forced cancer cells to go through an aging process known as senescence -- the same process involved in ridding the body of cells damaged by sunlight.

If you block Skp2 in cancer cells, this process is triggered, Pier Paolo Pandolfi of Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues reported in the journal Nature.

And Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's <4502.T> experimental cancer drug MLN4924 -- already in early-stage clinical trials in people -- appears to have the power to do just that, Pandolfi said in a telephone interview.

The finding may offer a new strategy for fighting cancer.

"What we discovered is if you damage cells, the cells have a built-in mechanism to put themselves out of business," Pandolfi said. "They are stopped irreversibly from growing."

For the study, the team used genetically altered mice that developed a form of prostate cancer.

In some of these, they inactivated the Skp2 gene. When the mice reached six months of age, they found those with an inactive Skp2 gene did not develop tumors, while the other mice did.

When they analyzed the tissues from lymph nodes and the prostate, they found many cells had started to age, and they also found a slow rate of cell division. This was not the case in mice with normal Skp2 function.

They got a similar effect when they used the Skp2-blocking drug MLN4924 in lab cultures of human prostate cancer cells.

To see if this would work in mice, they transplanted the cells and treated the mice with the drug.

"We put human cancer cells into mice. We fed them with a drug and these cells do senesce (age)," Pandolfi said.

"The same mechanism of damage caused by the sun can be evoked pharmacologically in cancer cells."

He said this Skp2-related aging pathway appears to be active in cancer, and not other cells. "We have no intention of aging the patient. But only the cancer," he said

Submit press release to pressrelease@exchangemagazine.com - Editor Jon Rohr - Content published on this site represents the opinion of the individual/organization and/or source provider of the Content. ExchangeMagazine.com is non-partisan, online journal. Privacy Policy. Copyright of Exchange produced editorial is the copyright of Exchange Business Communications Inc. 2009/*.*. Additional editorials, comments and releases are copyright of respective source(s) and/or institutions or organizations.

 


Contact a Account Manager

Current Issue March/April 2010
Subscribe to Exchange Online today



Subscribe to Exchange News Daily







Submit Press Release
Visitor Centre
Weather
Advertising Inquires
Email
Tel: 519.886.0298

Subscribe to Exchange Magazine Print Edition

Contact Information:

Publisher:
Exchange Business Communication Inc.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 519.886.0298

Editor-in-Chief
Jon Rohr
editor@exchangemagazine.com

Account Manager
John Hobin
advertise@exchangemagazine.com

<