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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So 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:

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