Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetes Drug May Be New Tool In Treating Breast Cancer

Date:
September 18, 2003
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have decoded the step-by-step process by which a class of popular anti-diabetes drugs inhibits cancerous tumor growth.

Washington, D.C – Researchers at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have decoded the step-by-step process by which a class of popular anti-diabetes drugs inhibits cancerous tumor growth. With the discovery of this molecular chain of events, as reported in the September 2003 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the Georgetown researchers are now studying whether these anti-diabetes drugs, called glitazones, could one day be effective anti-cancer drugs.

Glitazones are taken by more than two million people with Type 2 diabetes. They are marketed under the names AvandiaTM and ActosTM, by SmithKline Beecham and Eli Lilly, respectively. Glitazones bind to a particular target on a cell, and in diabetics, they work by reducing insulin resistance at the sites of insulin action in the muscle and liver. Previous studies have also shown that glitazones also have the ability to inhibit tumor growth. However, until this study no one understood how this process worked.

"This study shows for the first time a direct link between a gene causing breast and other cancers and a gene linked to diabetes and the production of fat cells," said Richard Pestell, M.D., PhD, director of Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "The link between these cellular components may be a lynchpin in some cancers – linking some cancers and metabolism directly. Potentially, we could be on the way to finding new therapeutic leads that would improve both diseases."

Pestell and his colleagues describe a complex relationship between a cancer causing gene, Cyclin D1, and a cancer-blocking receptor called PPAR gamma, which is involved in fat cell development. They are respectively found in breast cancer tissue and normal breast tissue. When PPAR is "turned on" by glitazones, tumor growth is inhibited. Conversely, when Cyclin D1 is activated in cells, it causes cancer cells to divide uncontrollably and excessively.

The new study reports that the anti-tumor effects of the PPAR gamma receptor are actually controlled by the cancer-causing Cyclin D1. In short, too much Cyclin D1 trumps the PPAR gamma receptor, turning off its ability to inhibit tumor growth.

Based on these findings, the Georgetown researchers believe that reduction in PPAR expression coupled with the increase in Cyclin D1 may represent a key genetic alteration underlying the transition from normal breast tissue to breast cancer. These findings suggest that drugs that block the effects of Cyclin D1 may be useful in stopping the conversion of normal tissue to malignant tissue.

The discoverer of the human Cyclin D1 gene, Andrew Arnold, M.D., professor and Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, agrees with the Georgetown researchers.

"This link between Cyclin D1 and PPAR gamma biochemical pathways is fascinating and clearly worthy of further exploration, including the potential for yielding new treatment modalities for cancer," said Dr. Arnold.

The study published in Molecular and Cellular Biology was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

###

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington DC area. For more information, go to http://www.georgetown.edu/gumc.

The Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research promotes and supports the diverse breast cancer research conducted at the Lombardi Cancer Center. Named in honor of the acclaimed Washington Post fashion editor who died of breast cancer in 1990 at the age of 57, the center was founded in 1990 by her longtime friends Ralph Lauren and former Washington Post owner Katharine Graham. The breast cancer researchers affiliated with the Nina Hyde Center are internationally recognized in an elite class of scientific innovators.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Diabetes Drug May Be New Tool In Treating Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917073507.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2003, September 18). Diabetes Drug May Be New Tool In Treating Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917073507.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Diabetes Drug May Be New Tool In Treating Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917073507.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins