Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ovarian Cancer May Mimic Fallopian Tube Formation

Date:
March 13, 2007
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
A new study suggests that ovarian cancer cells form by hijacking a developmental genetic process normally used to form fallopian tubes. The discovery not only provides a new target for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, but also opens new avenues for basic research in ovarian cancer pathology.

Ovarian cancer tissue showing PAX8 stained in black.
Credit: Nathan Bowen/Georgia Tech

A new study suggests that ovarian cancer cells form by hijacking a developmental genetic process normally used to form fallopian tubes. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Ovarian Cancer Institute discovered that the protein, PAX8, is involved in the development of fallopian tubes and is present in ovarian cancer cells, but not in normal ovarian tissue. The discovery not only provides a new target for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, but also opens new avenues for basic research in ovarian cancer pathology. The research appears in Volume104, Issue3 of the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

"Our finding sustains the promise of a molecular genetic understanding of different cancers and emphasizes the importance of describing cancer in the context of normal human development that has gone awry due to genetic and epigenetic alterations,” said Nathan Bowen, Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientist at Georgia Tech and the Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI).

Using cancerous and non-cancerous tissue straight from the operating room, Bowen and fellow OCI researchers are engaged in investigating the molecular profile of ovarian cancer tissue in order to discover the causes of ovarian cancer, develop a reliable diagnostic blood test and understand the genetic basis of resistance to chemotherapy.

In2003, a group from Stanford University researching breast cancer discovered that paired box gene8 is expressed in ovarian cancer tissue, but not in breast cancer. Taking note of the Stanford group’s results, OCI researchers began to investigate the possibility that the gene and its products may be an important biomarker for detecting and researching the causes of ovarian cancer. They began to look for evidence of PAX8, the protein made by paired box gene8, which was the next step in establishing the gene as a biomarker. Not only did they find PAX8 in the ovarian cancer cells, but they also found it in the cells that form fallopian tubes, the secretory cells. In addition, they discovered that the protein is not expressed in the normal ovarian surface epithelium.

Bowen proposes that ovarian cancer begins by using PAX8 to direct an adult stem cell population found on the ovarian surface to proliferate and ultimately form ovarian cancer. When this gene is turned on in an embryo, it leads to the development of fallopian tubes. When the gene is expressed in healthy adult ovarian cells that migrate into the body of the ovary, it leads to the development of ovarian inclusion cysts. Normally, the growth of cysts is kept in check by the cells’ feedback mechanisms that turn off cell growth. But in cancer, when these feedback mechanisms are mutated, the cysts grow out of control until they metastasize.

"It’s a way of molecularly characterizing tumors that may lead to designing specific therapies based on the molecular profile,” said Bowen. “Biology is basically an information processing system to generate end products, and there are a lot of decisions that have to be made by the regulatory genes, like paired box gene8, before the end products can be made.

Bowen’s next steps are to find out why paired box gene8 gets turned on and to discover its targets in order to find out of it turns on another decision-making gene or an endpoint gene.

"That’s the daunting task of cancer biologists,” he said. “Now that we've sequenced the human genome, we have to make sense out of the thousands of genes that are expressed in cancer at the same time.”

This research was supported by grants from the Georgia Cancer Coalition and a gift in remembrance of Josephine Crawford Robinson for support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute Laboratory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Ovarian Cancer May Mimic Fallopian Tube Formation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075616.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2007, March 13). Ovarian Cancer May Mimic Fallopian Tube Formation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075616.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Ovarian Cancer May Mimic Fallopian Tube Formation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075616.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 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
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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