Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NSAIDs cause stem cells to self-destruct, preventing colon cancer, study finds

Date:
November 2, 2010
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) prevent colon cancer by triggering diseased stem cells to self-destruct, according to researchers. Their findings could lead to new strategies to protect people at high risk for the disease.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) prevent colon cancer by triggering diseased stem cells to self-destruct, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings, reported in the early online version of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to new strategies to protect people at high risk for the disease.

Related Articles


Doctors have long known that NSAIDs, such as aspirin, can lower the risk of colon cancer, but it's not been clear how they do it, said senior investigator Lin Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Pitt School of Medicine, and UPCI.

"Our study shows NSAIDs target stem cells that have accumulated mutations that could lead to cancer development, and initiate a biochemical pathway that makes those cells undergo programmed cell death, a process called apoptosis," Dr. Zhang said.

The researchers studied mice that have a genetic defect similar to one that is present in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition that accounts for about 1 percent of all cases of colorectal cancer, and is typically present in non-hereditary colon cancer, too.

Mice that ate the NSAID sulindac in their feed had within a week markedly elevated rates of apoptosis in their intestinal polyps, and specifically in stem cells that had accumulated some dangerous, precancerous changes causing abnormal cell signaling, the researchers found. If the mice also lacked a gene called SMAC, which makes a protein that is released during apoptosis, sulindac was less effective at killing the diseased stem cells.

"That leads us to think that SMAC is an important regulator of this process," Dr. Zhang said.

He and his team then took a closer look at polyps removed from patients and found higher levels of apoptosis in cells with stem cell features among those who were taking NSAIDs. The findings indicate that apoptosis measures could be a useful way of assessing the effectiveness of cancer-prevention drugs, as well as lead to the development of new agents to further sensitize abnormal stem cells to NSAIDs.

Co-authors of the paper include Jian Yu, Ph.D., Wei Qiu, Ph.D., Xinwei Wang, Ph.D., Brian Leibowitz, Ph.D., Hongtao Liu, B.S., and Robert E. Schoen, M.D., from UPCI and the School of Medicine; and other researchers from the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Netherlands; the Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto; and the Hiroshima University Graduate School of Public Health, Japan.

The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wei Qiu, Xinwei Wang, Brian Leibowitz, Hongtao Liu, Nick Barker, Hitoshi Okada, Naohide Oue, Wataru Yasui, Hans Clevers, Robert E. Schoen, Jian Yu, Lin Zhang. Chemoprevention by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eliminates oncogenic intestinal stem cells via SMAC-dependent apoptosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010430107

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "NSAIDs cause stem cells to self-destruct, preventing colon cancer, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161905.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2010, November 2). NSAIDs cause stem cells to self-destruct, preventing colon cancer, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161905.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "NSAIDs cause stem cells to self-destruct, preventing colon cancer, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161905.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

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