Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Diagnostic Advance Seen For Head, Throat Cancer

Date:
May 4, 2009
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
Pharmacy researchers have announced the discovery of a genetic regulator that is expressed at higher levels in the most aggressive types of head and neck cancers, in work that may help to identify them earlier or even offer a new therapy at some point in the future.

The figure in "A" shows a very low level of CTIP2 expression in normal human epithelia, while "B" shows a significant increase in expression in aggressive head and neck cancer.
Credit: Image courtesy of Oregon State University

Pharmacy researchers at Oregon State University today announced the discovery of a genetic regulator that is expressed at higher levels in the most aggressive types of head and neck cancers, in work that may help to identify them earlier or even offer a new therapy at some point in the future.

This "transcriptional regulator" is called CTIP2, and in recent research has been demonstrated to be a master regulator that has important roles in many biological functions, ranging from the proper development of enamel on teeth to skin formation and the possible treatment of eczema or psoriasis.

In the newest study, published April 28 in PLoS One, scientists found for the first time that levels of CTIP2 were more than five times higher in the "poorly differentiated" tumor cells that caused the most deadly types of squamous cell carcinomas in the larynx, throat, tongue and other parts of the head. There was a high correlation between greater CTIP2 expression and the aggressive nature of the cancer.

Head and neck squamous cell cancers are the sixth most common cancers in the world, the researchers said in their study, and a significant cause of mortality. In 2008, cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx alone accounted for 35,310 new cases in the United States and 7,590 deaths. They have been linked to such things as tobacco use and alcohol consumption.

"Serious head and throat cancer is pretty common, and mortality rates from it haven't improved much in 20 years, despite new types of treatments," said Gitali Indra, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy. "With these new findings, we believe it should be possible to create an early screening and diagnostic tool to spot these cancers earlier, tell physicians which ones need the most aggressive treatments and which are most apt to recur."

It's also possible the work may lead to new therapeutic approaches, researchers say.

"It's not completely clear yet whether the higher levels of CTIP2 expression are a consequence of cancer, or part of the cause," said Arup Indra, also an OSU assistant professor of pharmacy. "However, we strongly suspect that it's causally related. If that's true, then therapies that could block production of CTIP2 may provide a new therapeutic approach to this type of cancer."

That this genetic regulator could be involved in both skin development and these types of cancer makes some sense, the scientists said – both originate from epithelial cells.

It's also possible, the study found, that CTIP2 works to help regulate the growth of what is believed to be a cancer "stem" or "progenitor" cell, which has a greater potential to generate tumors through the stem cell processes of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. Therefore, targeting cancer stem cells holds promise for improvement of survival and quality of life of cancer patients.

This research was partly supported by a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The work was done in collaboration with researchers in the Cancer Institute in Strasbourg, France.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ganguli-Indra et al. CTIP2 Expression in Human Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Is Linked to Poorly Differentiated Tumor Status. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (4): e5367 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005367

Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "New Diagnostic Advance Seen For Head, Throat Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090428144128.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2009, May 4). New Diagnostic Advance Seen For Head, Throat Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090428144128.htm
Oregon State University. "New Diagnostic Advance Seen For Head, Throat Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090428144128.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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