Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New line of approach for combination therapy against Melanoma

Date:
July 22, 2012
Source:
VIB
Summary:
A melanoma is a malignant form of skin cancer and is one of the most aggressive types of tumors there is. Treatment is particularly difficult, because melanomas are usually resistant against conventional chemotherapy treatments. Medical researchers have now found a new line of approach in which to treat these aggressive skin cancers, namely by combating the interaction between the protein MDM4 and the tumor suppressor p53.

A melanoma is a malignant form of skin cancer and is one of the most aggressive types of tumors there is. Treatment is particularly difficult, because melanomas are usually resistant against conventional chemotherapy treatments. Agnieszka Gembarska and Chris Marine (VIB/KU Leuven) have found a new line of approach in which to treat these aggressive skin cancers, namely by combating the interaction between the protein MDM4 and the tumor suppressor p53.

Their research offers a new angle for the development of medication and confirms that combination therapies -- including those using the recently developed BRAF inhibitors -- hold the promise of further improvement of the clinical response to a treatment. This study was published in the authoritative journal Nature Medicine and will undoubtedly be followed with interest by the pharmaceutical industry.

Chris Marine said: "Our results are important on two levels. From a scientific perspective, it is very important that we have been able to prove that p53 plays a key role in the formation of melanomas. However, this research also offers perspectives for optimizing the existing treatment strategies for melanomas. The current treatment with BRAF inhibitors has positive effects on nearly 80% of the patients, but many of them relapse after a few months. We may have discovered a way of preventing this relapse."

p53, MDM4 and the formation of cancer

Chris Marine and his team has a long standing interest in p53 -- a master tumor suppressor protein (in other words a protein that counteract the formation of cancer). Mutations in the p53 gene are very common in many various types of cancer. Surprisingly, mutations in p53 are (almost) never seen in melanomas. Scientists suspected that melanomas had found an alternative way of bypassing the action of p53.

The protein MDM4 has a negative effect on the action of p53 and has been the scientific focus of the VIB investigators for many years. Agnieszka Gembarska and Chris Marine have now demonstrated that (65% of) melanomas contain much higher concentrations of the MDM4 protein than normal cells. The scientists found a pharmacological way to inhibit the interaction between MDM4 and p53 and were thereby able to restore the tumor suppressive effect of p53 in melanoma cells.

Chris Marine said:  "The restoration of the p53 activity in the melanoma cells makes these cells more susceptible to chemotherapy and the BRAF inhibitors. In our research, we were able to identify MDM4 as a very promising target for treatment of melanoma, as part of a combination therapy.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Agnieszka Gembarska, Flavie Luciani, Clare Fedele, Elisabeth A Russell, Michael Dewaele, Stιphanie Villar, Aleksandra Zwolinska, Sue Haupt, Job de Lange, Dana Yip, James Goydos, Jody J Haigh, Ygal Haupt, Lionel Larue, Aart Jochemsen, Hubing Shi, Gatien Moriceau, Roger S Lo, Ghanem Ghanem, Mark Shackleton, Federico Bernal, Jean-Christophe Marine. MDM4 is a key therapeutic target in cutaneous melanoma. Nature Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nm.2863

Cite This Page:

VIB. "New line of approach for combination therapy against Melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120722135018.htm>.
VIB. (2012, July 22). New line of approach for combination therapy against Melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120722135018.htm
VIB. "New line of approach for combination therapy against Melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120722135018.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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:
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