Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell Recycling Protects Tumor Cells From Anti-cancer Therapy

Date:
March 8, 2008
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Autophagy is a process by which a cell degrades its own components. In tumor cells, this mechanism is frequently initiated by anti-cancer therapy. It is not known why the cells respond by activating the catabolic process of autophagy. Researchers have now been able to show that blocking of autophagy makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

Cells have their own recycling system: Discarded cellular components, from individual proteins through to whole cellular organs, are degraded and the building blocks re-used in a different place. The scientific term for this recycling process is autophagy. In severely damaged cells, autophagy can also be a form of programmed cell death. In this case, the cell uses the mechanism for complete self-decomposition.

Cancer cells, too, make use of autophagy -- especially after radiation or chemotherapy. However, why autophagy is activated in this context, is not clear. It is possible that the process contributes to the death of the treated tumor cells. But autophagy might also be an attempt by the cells to survive. "Autophagy is also switched on specifically, for example, when the cell does not have enough nutrients at its disposal," explains Professor Ingrid Herr, head of the Research Group "Molecular OncoSurgery" of the German Cancer Research Center.

Working together with Dr. Anja Apel and scientists of the University of Tόbingen, Ingrid Herr has studied the role of autophagy in cancer treatment. To this end, the investigators switched off a number of genes in tumor cells that are essential for autophagy. Subsequently, they irradiated the cells and then examined how many cells had survived the treatment. They found out that cells that had been almost completely resistant to radiation became more sensitive to radiotherapy due to blocked autophagy.

No effect was found on cancer cells that had already responded well to radiotherapy before. Therefore, the researchers assume that highly aggressive cancer cells use autophagy to resist tumor therapy. The Heidelberg researchers will now investigate whether blocking the recycling system might be useful to support anti-cancer therapies.

Journal reference: Anja Apel, Ingrid Herr, Heinz Schwarz, H. Peter Rodemann, Andreas Mayer. Blocked autophagy sensitizes resistant carcinoma cells to radiation therapy. Cancer Research 2008, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-0562


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Cell Recycling Protects Tumor Cells From Anti-cancer Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094621.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2008, March 8). Cell Recycling Protects Tumor Cells From Anti-cancer Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094621.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Cell Recycling Protects Tumor Cells From Anti-cancer Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094621.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) — The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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