Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New strategy for treating cancer

Date:
September 5, 2011
Source:
Umeå University
Summary:
Using a strategy based on treating cancer cells that carry a specific genetic signature – hyper-expression of the protein Myc – with therapy that affects the stability of the cell’s DNA, more effective results can be achieved, according to new research from Sweden.

Using a strategy based on treating cancer cells that carry a specific genetic signature -- hyper-expression of the protein Myc -- with therapy that affects the stability of the cell's DNA, more effective results can be achieved.

The discovery was made by Andreas Höglund, in his dissertation to be publicly defended at Umeå University on Sept. 9.

Today, cancer is a public health disease that statistically afflicts every third Swede some time during their lifetimes. Although certain external factors such as smoking, obesity, and exaggerated sunbathing increase the risk of cancer, everyone can develop this disease, regardless of these factors. This is because during our lifetime we gather mutations in our genes that govern how the body's cells grow and multiply. Sometimes these mutations affect important cellular programs, entailing that a cell somewhere in the body receives a growth advantage that makes it grow and multiply until a tumor has been formed.

In his dissertation, Andreas Höglund shows that cancer cells that carry a specific genetic defect are extra susceptible to treatment that damages the cells' DNA.

"Cancer cells that express the protein Myc at unnaturally high levels are extra sensitive to these types of treatment," says Andreas Höglund.

Myc is a vital protein in the body that governs the reading of thousands of genes. Myc does not cause cancer until mutations lead to abnormally high levels of this protein, and further defense mechanisms are knocked out. Defective expression of Myc is one of the most common causes of cancer.

In the dissertation studies Andreas Höglund also maps signalling paths that govern the cell's ability to recognize and repair damaged DNA. In collaboration with pharmacuetical companies, small chemical compounds have been tested in the hope of being able to develop these beyond a preclinical setting. By steering the binding of these compounds to precisely those signal paths that govern the cell's ability to recognize and repair DNA damage, it was possible to neutralize the cancer cells.

"Directing treatment toward the signal paths we have identified is highly appropriate for cancer cells with high Myc levels. The hope is to be able to use the Myc signature in a number of cancer diseases in order to attain more specific treatment, which also has the potential of reducing side effects in comparison with current treatment methods," says Andreas Höglund.

Andreas Höglund was born and raised in Härnösand, where he majored in science in high school, graduating in 1999. In 2001 he started the master's program in biotechnology at Umeå University, finishing in 2006.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Umeå University. "New strategy for treating cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905074330.htm>.
Umeå University. (2011, September 5). New strategy for treating cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905074330.htm
Umeå University. "New strategy for treating cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905074330.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. 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