Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Origin of aggressive ovarian cancer discovered

Date:
March 6, 2013
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a likely origin of epithelial ovarian cancer (ovarian carcinoma), the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States.

Stem cells expressing marker LGR5 (green) were discovered in the hilum region of the ovary.
Credit: Nikitin Lab

Cornell University researchers have discovered a likely origin of epithelial ovarian cancer (ovarian carcinoma), the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States.

Related Articles


Pinpointing where this cancer originates has been difficult because 70 percent of patients are in advanced stages of disease by the time it is detected. Because the origin of ovarian carcinoma development is unknown, early diagnostic tests have so far been unsuccessful.

Some epithelial cancers are known to occur in transitional zones between two types of epithelium (layers of tissue that line the body and organs and form glands), while others originate in epithelial tissue stem cells. All organs have the capacity for regeneration, which is done by adult stem cells located in areas of each organ called stem cell niches.

With this knowledge, the researchers discovered a novel stem cell niche for the ovarian surface epithelium in mice and showed that ovarian carcinoma preferentially originates from stem cells found in that niche, according to the study published March 6 in the journal Nature. This stem cell niche lies in a transitional area known as the hilum region, a layer of cells that links the ovary to the rest of the body.

"We now know where these cells are located in mice, so we can look in humans in those areas," said Alexander Nikitin, professor of pathology, leader of the Cornell Stem Cell Program and the paper's senior author. Andrea Flesken-Nikitin, a postdoctoral researcher in Nikitin's lab, is the paper's lead author. The findings also provide a guide for scientists to look for stem cell niches and sources of cancer in other transitional zones in other organs, Nikitin added.

The researchers proved that stem cells from the hilum region were highly prone to ovarian carcinoma, using the most current genetic research techniques.

The researchers first found that cells in the hilum region express a known marker for stem cells, called ALDH1. They then isolated ALDH1 positive cells, sequenced their genetic profiles and found many markers previously reported for stem cells in other organs.

One of these markers, LGR5, has been studied for intestinal stem cells by other researchers who have bred special mice and developed an advanced method that uses a fluorescent protein to follow stem cells. The gene encoding the fluorescent protein is passed down from a stem cell to each generation of daughter cells, thereby marking the lineage. The technique "allows you to see the fate of stem cells over time," said Nikitin. Using the method on the hilum cells, "we showed that cells from the hilum area spread around the whole ovary."

Finally, the researchers microdissected ovary and hilum cells, inactivated two tumor suppressor genes p53 and Rb1, whose pathways are commonly altered in human aggressive ovarian carcinoma, and injected cells into the abdominal cavity of mice. Very few tumors developed in the mice injected with ovary cells, but almost all of the mice injected with hilum cells died after developing aggressive, metastasizing cancers that were similar to human ovarian carcinomas.

In future work, the researchers will look for stem cells and sources of cancer in transitional zones in the human ovary and other organs, such as the stomach, rectum and uterine cervix.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. The original article was written by Krishna Ramanujan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea Flesken-Nikitin, Chang-Il Hwang, Chieh-Yang Cheng, Tatyana V. Michurina, Grigori Enikolopov, Alexander Yu. Nikitin. Ovarian surface epithelium at the junction area contains a cancer-prone stem cell niche. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature11979

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Origin of aggressive ovarian cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306134400.htm>.
Cornell University. (2013, March 6). Origin of aggressive ovarian cancer discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306134400.htm
Cornell University. "Origin of aggressive ovarian cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306134400.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) 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:

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