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.

Related Articles


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 March 5, 2015 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 March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's Strange New Supreme Court Case

Obamacare's Strange New Supreme Court Case

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) President Obama&apos;s healthcare law is facing its second Supreme Court challenge, and it hinges on a single sentence. 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