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 September 20, 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 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

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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