Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Triggers Found In Cells' Transition From Colitis To Cancer

Date:
October 14, 2009
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
In findings that may help explain why patients with colitis have up to a 30-fold risk of developing colon cancer compared with people without the disease, researchers reveal that inflamed but noncancerous colon tissue taken from human patients transformed into tumors in mice.

University of Florida researchers have grown tumors in mice using cells from inflamed but noncancerous colon tissue taken from human patients, a finding that sheds new light on colon cancer and how it might be prevented.

Scientists observed that cancer stem cells taken from the gastrointestinal system in patients with a chronic digestive disease called ulcerative colitis will transform into cancerous tumors in mice.

The finding, now online and to be featured on the cover of the Oct. 15 issue of Cancer Research, may help explain why patients with colitis have up to a 30-fold risk of developing colon cancer compared with people without the disease.

New understanding of the link between colitis and cancer could lead to diagnostic tests that would evaluate tissue taken from patients with colitis for signs of cancer stem cell development, thereby identifying patients who may be at greater risk for cancer.

"Ultimately it would be great if we could prevent colitis or treat colitis so it never gets to the cancerous stage," said UF colorectal surgeon Emina Huang, M.D., who is a member of the Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at UF's McKnight Brain Institute and the UF College of Medicine.

Although colonoscopy is very effective in screening and preventing colon cancer for most people, for patients with colitis no diagnostic tests work well because the inflamed tissue makes identification of precancerous changes difficult.

According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, approximately 700,000 people have colitis in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates that cancer of the colon and rectum will claim the lives of about 50,000 people this year.

UF scientists gathered colitic tissue from humans and chemically screened it for colon cancer stem cells, also called tumor initiating cells. These cells were then isolated and monitored in mice to see if tumors would grow.

Huang said these findings shed light on that fact that it may not be just the cancer "seed" cell, but the "soil" – in this case inflamed colon tissue – that plays a role in the development of cancer.

"Is it the seed, is it the soil or is it their interaction?" she said. "We think probably both, but now we have a new way to look at it and a new method of attack."

B. Mark Evers, M.D., a professor and vice chair of surgery at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said the study emphasizes the emerging role of the surrounding inflammatory tumor microenvironment on tumor growth and subsequent metastasis.

"Dr. Huang and her group have identified a potentially important mechanism to explain why long-standing inflammation of the colon predisposes patients to the development of cancer," said Evers, who is director of the Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, Ky.

To further understand the role of the "seed" and "soil" interaction, UF researchers paired colon cancer stem cells with normal, colitic and cancerous human cells taken from the scaffolding layer of the large intestine. The cells were implanted into mice to analyze growth rates. The combination of tumor cells and normal scaffolding tissue cells grew at the slowest rate. Tumor cells paired with cancerous tissue grew at an intermediate rate, and tumor cells paired with the colitic tissue grew at the fastest rate.

Huang said they found heightened levels of two immune system hormones called interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 in the cells from the colitic and cancerous tissues, which had the faster growth rates.

When UF researchers decreased the expression of these hormones within the cells, the tumor growth drastically decreased. When the hormones returned, the tumors began to grow again.

"We don't understand the transition at the molecular level so we are trying to figure out what we can target to interfere, intervene or inhibit that transformation of the benign colitic cells," she said. "The thought is if we can create a therapy to decrease function of these hormones, we may be able to prevent or inhibit cancer growth."

Clinical trials looking at the role of one of these hormones in humans are under way in England, Huang said.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Triggers Found In Cells' Transition From Colitis To Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105824.htm>.
University of Florida. (2009, October 14). Triggers Found In Cells' Transition From Colitis To Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105824.htm
University of Florida. "Triggers Found In Cells' Transition From Colitis To Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105824.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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