Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colon Cancer A Disease Of Hormone Deficiency, Scientists Suggest

Date:
August 3, 2007
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers have found new evidence suggesting that colon cancer is a disease of missing hormones that could potentially be treated by hormone replacement therapy. Early in colon cancer development, two intestinal cell growth-controlling hormones are "lost," disrupting the activity of the hormones' receptor, GCC. Using two mouse models of colon cancer development in people, the scientists showed that GCC signaling blocks tumors from forming, meaning that colon cancer could be a disease of hormone insufficiency.

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia have found new evidence suggesting that colon cancer is actually a disease of missing hormones that could potentially be treated by hormone replacement therapy.

Related Articles


Reporting August 1, 2007 in the journal Gastroenterology, clinical pharmacologist Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and his co-workers showed that GCC -- guanylyl cyclase C, a protein receptor on the surface of intestinal epithelial cells for two hormones, guanylin and uroguanylin, can suppress tumor formation. These hormones regulate the growth of intestinal epithelial cells.

But early in colon cancer development, these growth-controlling hormones are "lost" and not expressed, disrupting GCC's activity, and, Dr. Waldman believes, contributing to tumor formation. Using two separate mouse models that mimic the development of colon cancer in people, his team showed that GCC signaling blocks such tumors from forming.

According to Dr. Waldman, the group found that GCC stops tumors from forming through two different mechanisms. In one case, it controls cell growth, while in the other, it maintains "regulation of genomic integrity."

In one mouse cancer model, the animals carried mutations in the APC gene, which causes colon polyps that frequently lead to colon cancer. Mice in the other cancer-development model were exposed to a commonly used experimental cancer-causing agent, azoxymethane. "We modeled both ways that humans develop colon cancer, and studied the effects of a lack of GCC on the incidence of colon cancer development," he explains.

"We found that in animals that have APC mutations, tumors developed in the colon and small intestine, which is expected," Dr. Waldman says. "A lack of GCC resulted in both larger tumors and a greater number of tumors in the large intestine." In the carcinogen model, the absence of GCC caused an increase in both tumor number and size also.

The findings indicate that the mechanism of the increase in tumor development through loss of GCC expression was a combination, in both models, of a loss of genomic integrity and an increase in cell growth. "When you eliminate GCC from cells, they develop a level of genomic instability, where they start accumulating more mutations and lose pieces of genetic material," he explains.

"Putting those pieces together -- exposure to carcinogen or spontaneous mutations in APC -- which happens to almost every colorectal cancer patient, and the loss of GCC signaling brought on by a loss of the two hormones in one of the earliest events that occurs in tumor development in the intestine," he notes, "and it's a recipe for colon cancer."

The finding "converts colon cancer from a genetic disease, which is the way we've all thought about it, to a disease of hormone insufficiency," Dr. Waldman says. "It's a completely different way of thinking about the disease.

"Not only does this give a new paradigm in how we think about the disease, but it gives us a new paradigm for treating the disease -- that is, by hormone replacement therapy.

Essentially, this takes the genetic disease and converts it to an endocrine disease, with a hormone solution." The researchers would like to extend these studies to show that by treating patients with hormone replacement therapy, intestinal cancer formation can either be prevented or treated.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Colon Cancer A Disease Of Hormone Deficiency, Scientists Suggest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801091319.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2007, August 3). Colon Cancer A Disease Of Hormone Deficiency, Scientists Suggest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801091319.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Colon Cancer A Disease Of Hormone Deficiency, Scientists Suggest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801091319.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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