Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

STAT3 Gene Regulates Cancer Stem Cells In Brain Cancer

Date:
August 12, 2009
Source:
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers find that the STAT3 gene regulates the growth of cancer stem cells in the brain cancer Glioblastoma multiforme. This evidence is consistent with the controversial theory that a minority of cells within a tumor -- cancer stem cells -- are essential for tumor growth.

In a study published online in advance of print in Stem Cells, Tufts researchers report that the STAT3 gene regulates cancer stem cells in brain cancer. Cancer stem cells have many characteristics of stem cells and are thought to be the cells that drive tumor formation. The researchers report that STAT3 could become a target for cancer therapy, specifically in Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of malignant and aggressive brain tumor.

Related Articles


Patients with Glioblastoma multiforme typically survive 12 to 14 months with treatment. Treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

“When STAT3 is inhibited, cancer stem cells in glioblastomas lose their stem-cell characteristics permanently, suggesting that STAT3 regulates growth and self-renewal of stem cells within glioblastomas. Strikingly, a single, acute treatment with STAT3 inhibitors was effective, implying that a STAT3 inhibitor could stop tumor formation,” said senior author Brent Cochran, PhD, a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and a member of the cellular & molecular physiology program faculty at the Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts.

“STAT3 has been shown to be activated in a number of human tumors. This study is one of the first to show, however, that STAT3 regulates cancer stem cells. It is one of the few genes linked to the propagation of cancer stem cells, and it appears to regulate processes involved in the six hallmarks of cancer: growth, metastasis, angiogenesis, evasion of apoptosis, tissue invasion, and cell immortalization,” he continued.

The researchers used cancer stem cells isolated from surgically removed samples of glioblastoma tumors. Cell cultures were treated with two chemically distinct small-molecule inhibitors (STA-21 and S3I-201) of STAT3. After several days of treatment, cell growth in the STAT3-inhibited cultures was minimal compared to growth in the control cultures. Moreover, in the STAT-inhibited cultures, proteins that help maintain stem-cell characteristics were apparently turned off. This finding leads the researchers to believe that STAT3 has a distinct role to play in cancer stem cells, which may make it an especially good target for cancer therapy.

“Current cancer therapies that prolong life do not specifically target cancer stem cells, and these cells are often resistant to traditional radiation and chemotherapies. STAT3 appears to govern the propagation of cancer stem cells in Glioblastoma multiforme. Targeted inhibition of STAT3 in GBM cancer stem cells gives us a new approach to treating this devastating brain cancer,” said Julian Wu, MD, associate chairman of neurosurgery and chief of the division of neurosurgical oncology at Tufts Medical Center. He is also a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Wu is known for his expertise in gene therapy for brain tumors and the molecular genetics of primary and metastatic brain tumors.

“We are encouraged by the potential of STAT3 in our study,” said Cochran. “Research has already demonstrated that STAT3 and cancer go hand in hand, but, until this study, we did not know that STAT3 regulates cancer stem cells, which are extremely resistant to conventional therapy. Given these findings, I hope that our future research investigating the mechanisms involved in inhibiting STAT3 will contribute to more effective and less invasive cancer therapies.”

First author Maureen Sherry is a graduate student in cellular & molecular physiology at the Sackler School and is a member of Cochran’s laboratory.

This study was supported by the Brain Tumor Society (now the National Brain Tumor Society) and by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sherry MM, Reeves A, Wu JK, and Cochran BH. STAT3 is required for proliferation and maintenance of multipotency in glioblastoma stem cells. Stem Cells, 2009; DOI: 10.1002/stem.185

Cite This Page:

Tufts University, Health Sciences. "STAT3 Gene Regulates Cancer Stem Cells In Brain Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810104925.htm>.
Tufts University, Health Sciences. (2009, August 12). STAT3 Gene Regulates Cancer Stem Cells In Brain Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810104925.htm
Tufts University, Health Sciences. "STAT3 Gene Regulates Cancer Stem Cells In Brain Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810104925.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 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:

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