Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New colon cancer marker identified

Date:
March 25, 2011
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
A research team has identified an enzyme that could be used to diagnose colon cancer earlier. It is possible that this enzyme also could be a key to stopping the cancer.

A research team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has identified an enzyme that could be used to diagnose colon cancer earlier. It is possible that this enzyme also could be a key to stopping the cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Americans, with a one in 20 chance of developing it, according to the American Cancer Society. This enzyme biomarker could help physicians identify more colon cancers and do so at earlier stages when the cancer is more successfully treated.

The research was led by Cancer Center investigator Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD, professor of molecular toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, and published online in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Vasiliou's laboratory specializes in understanding the role of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases in drug metabolism, metabolic diseases, cancer and normal and cancer stem cells.

Vasiliou's team studied colon cancers from 40 patients and found a form of this enzyme known as ALDH1B1 present in every colon cancer cell in 39 out of the 40 cases. The enzyme, which is normally found only in stem cells, was detected at extraordinarily high levels.

"Other potential colon cancer biomarkers have been identified in the past, but none thus far are present in such a high percent of the cancer cells and virtually none are overexpressed like this one," says Cancer Center investigator David Orlicky, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the CU medical school and a member of the research team.

This finding is particularly timely as it was recommended last week at the Human Genome 2011 annual meeting that a chemical analysis for biomarkers should always accompany genotyping in early detection of colon cancer, says Vasiliou, who attended the meeting in Dubai.

It appears that ALDH1B1 aids the development or growth of these cancer cells because it would not be present in every cell at such high levels if it were simply a byproduct of the cancer. Based on this finding, the enzyme may provide a way to treat the disease, says Ying Chen, PhD, lead author and assistant professor of molecular toxicology at the CU School of Pharmacy.

The team is now studying how this enzyme is up-regulated into colon cancer cells and its exact role in the physiology of the tumor cells, Vasiliou says. The team also is seeking to understand the substrate, inhibitors and activators of ALDH1B1.

"Our efforts are focused on developing a drug that could turn into a toxic compound and kill the cancer cell when acted upon by the enzyme," Vasiliou says. "It would act like a suicide pill, if you will."

Vasiliou's team is collaborating in this work with laboratories at the National Cancer Institute, Scripps Research Institute in California, University of Melbourne in Australia, University of Heidelberg in Germany and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

"This work will be considered a landmark in the understanding of basic metabolic processes within the colon cancer cell," Orlicky says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ying Chen, David J. Orlicky, Akiko Matsumoto, Surendra Singh, David C. Thompson, Vasilis Vasiliou. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1B1 (ALDH1B1) is a potential biomarker for human colon cancer. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2011; 405 (2): 173 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.01.002

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "New colon cancer marker identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325164222.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2011, March 25). New colon cancer marker identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325164222.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "New colon cancer marker identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325164222.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