Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus-like particles provide vital clues about brain tumors

Date:
April 17, 2013
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
Exosomes are small, virus-like particles that can transport genetic material and signal substances between cells. Researchers have made new findings about exosomes released from aggressive brain tumors, gliomas. These exosomes are shown to have an important function in brain tumor development, and could be utilized as biomarkers to assess tumor aggressiveness through a blood test.

Exosomes are small, virus-like particles that can transport genetic material and signal substances between cells. Researchers at Lund University, Sweden, have made new findings about exosomes released from aggressive brain tumours, gliomas. These exosomes are shown to have an important function in brain tumour development, and could be utilised as biomarkers to assess tumour aggressiveness through a blood test.

"Current wisdom says that cells are closed entities that communicate through the secretion of soluble signalling molecules. Recent findings indicate that cells can exchange more complex information -- whole packages of genetic material and signalling proteins. This is an entirely new conception of how cells communicate," says Dr Mattias Belting, Professor of Oncology at Lund University and senior consultant in oncology at Skεne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Exosomes are small vesicles of only 30-90 nm. They are produced inside cells and act as "transport vehicles" of genetic material that can be transferred to surrounding cells. Since their first discovery, exosomes have been found in blood, saliva, urine, breast milk and other body fluids.

Mattias Belting's research group has investigated exosomes released from tumour cells of patients with gliomas. The tiny exosome particles are delivered from the tumour to healthy cells of the brain and may prime normal tissue for efficient spreading of the tumour. The researchers in Lund have now shown that the aggressiveness of the tumour is reflected in the exosome molecular profile.

"We have succeeded in developing a method for the isolation of exosomes from brain tumour patients through a relatively simple blood test. Our analyses indicate that the content of exosomes mirrors the aggressiveness of the tumour in a unique manner," says postdoctoral researcher Paulina Kucharzewska.

Exosomes could thus be utilised as biomarkers, i.e. to provide guidance on how the patient should be treated and to monitor treatment response. This possibility is particularly attractive with brain tumours that are not readily accessible for tissue biopsy. However, analysis of exosomes from the blood may also prove important with other tumour types. The value of conventional tumour biopsies is limited by the heterogeneity of tumour tissue, i.e. the tissue specimen may not be fully representative of the biological characteristics of a particular tumour. Exosomes, however, may offer more comprehensive information, according to the researchers.

The second international meeting on exosomes has just opened in Boston, and Mattias Belting and members of his team are there.

"It is very exciting to be part of the emergence of a novel research field. It can be anticipated that the most influential researchers in this area may one day be awarded the Nobel Prize," says Dr Belting.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Kucharzewska, H. C. Christianson, J. E. Welch, K. J. Svensson, E. Fredlund, M. Ringner, M. Morgelin, E. Bourseau-Guilmain, J. Bengzon, M. Belting. Exosomes reflect the hypoxic status of glioma cells and mediate hypoxia-dependent activation of vascular cells during tumor development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1220998110

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Virus-like particles provide vital clues about brain tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417105931.htm>.
Lund University. (2013, April 17). Virus-like particles provide vital clues about brain tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417105931.htm
Lund University. "Virus-like particles provide vital clues about brain tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417105931.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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