Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development

Date:
August 24, 2012
Source:
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center
Summary:
Researchers have discovered how some proteins may cause the development of some forms of colon cancers.

University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center researchers have partnered with geneticists from Genentech, Inc., to discover how some proteins may cause the development of some forms of colon cancers.

The proteins -- part of R-spondin family -- normally help activate cell proliferation during embryonic development. Now, University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that when two types of R-spondins -- RSPO2 and RSPO 3 -- are reactivated in adults through certain gene mutations, they can signal cells to restart the cell proliferation process, which can lead to tumor growth in the colon.

The discovery, which involved multiple researchers from the University's Masonic Cancer Center, could lead the way to more personalized colon cancer therapy designed around the genetics of a patient's specific cancer. The results are available online now, in the journal Nature.

"These results suggest there is a potential for personalized therapies based on knowing a tumor's specific genetics," said David Largaespada, Ph.D., associate director of Basic Sciences and professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development. "And because these R-spondins are related to embryonic growth, and seem to not have major roles in the adult, targeting them would likely be low in side effects."

To arrive at the results, researchers analyzed more than 70 pairs of human colon tumors and a mouse model engineered using the Sleeping Beauty transposon by Largaespada. Through a series of investigations, researchers identified 36 rearrangements that result in gene fusions, including two recurrent ones involving R-spondin family members RSPO2 and RSPO3.

While the results could generate more personalized approaches to the treatment of colon cancer, researchers stress more research is needed before these results can be applied to actual patient care.

Caitlin Conboy, an M.D./Ph.D. student studying at the University of Minnesota, worked closely on this project and is nowworking to advance the science of this paper to the next stage.

"What we're finding is that tumors may look the same, but they're fundamentally different," said Conboy. "Diagnosis may be less about the tissue where the tumor is found, like the breast or colon, but the drivers of the tumor's growth."

Conboy is beginning work on a study that will help determine if a blocking agent could be useful in treating tumors driven by R-spondin production. If this project is successful, it could help create new therapeutic approaches useful in certain patients after a tumor genetic test is done.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Somasekar Seshagiri, Eric W. Stawiski, Steffen Durinck, Zora Modrusan, Elaine E. Storm, Caitlin B. Conboy, Subhra Chaudhuri, Yinghui Guan, Vasantharajan Janakiraman, Bijay S. Jaiswal, Joseph Guillory, Connie Ha, Gerrit J. P. Dijkgraaf, Jeremy Stinson, Florian Gnad, Melanie A. Huntley, Jeremiah D. Degenhardt, Peter M. Haverty, Richard Bourgon, Weiru Wang, Hartmut Koeppen, Robert Gentleman, Timothy K. Starr, Zemin Zhang, David A. Largaespada, Thomas D. Wu, Frederic J. de Sauvage. Recurrent R-spondin fusions in colon cancer. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11282

Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. "Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824093515.htm>.
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. (2012, August 24). Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824093515.htm
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. "Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824093515.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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