Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tumor-killer shows great promise in suppressing cancers

Date:
May 21, 2013
Source:
Nanyang Technological University
Summary:
Scientists have bioengineered a novel molecule which has been proven to successfully kill tumor cells.

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule which has been proven to successfully kill tumour cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule which has been proven to successfully kill tumour cells.

Related Articles


This molecule is based on a natural protein present in human breast milk, which has been found to have strong and wide-ranging tumour killing properties when bound to certain lipids. Lipids are organic molecules like amino acids and carbohydrates, made up of carbon and hydrogen, and help to store energy and to form biological membranes.

The protein-lipid molecule complex, is known as HAMLET, which stands for Human Alpha-lactabumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells. It has been proven to be safe and effective as it only targets tumour cells, leaving healthy human cells intact.

HAMLET has most recently been shown to successfully suppress colon cancer in laboratory mice.

The scientists have also successfully identified and isolated specific components of HAMLET called peptide-oleate bound forms, which have the tumour-killing effect. Peptides are short chain amino acids commonly found in the human body.

These latest breakthroughs are led by Professor Catharina Svanborg and Dr Manoj Puthia from Lund University, Sweden, and Professor Gerhard Grόber from NTU's School of Biological Sciences. The HAMLET complex was first discovered by Professor Svanborg's research group.

The findings were published recently in Gut and in PLoS ONE. The researchers found that laboratory mice genetically modified to develop colon cancer, were protected to a large extent when fed with HAMLET-laced water. This suggested that HAMLET was killing emerging tumour cells faster than these cells could grow and proliferate.

On the new concept of a synthetic version of the tumour-killing molecule, Prof Grόber said, "By studying the original protein, we have and will continue to identify key components to make a synthetic peptide, a short-chain amino acid, carrying the properties of HAMLET and yet more resilient than the original protein complex."

"By synthetically constructing the key components, this helps the peptide to be much more resilient and to 'survive' in different environments, such as in the human body or in drinking water, which is an ideal delivery medium, before it reaches its tumour target."

The ability to recreate HAMLET in synthetic form opens up possibilities of turning it into a drug to kill tumours.

Next steps

Prof Svanborg, who is a doctor and a scientist, said she had seen promising results from the human trials using HAMLET in Sweden.

"We are now ready to test HAMLET as a therapeutic and preventive agent in colon cancer, especially in families with the genetic predisposition, where preventive options are limited," Prof Svanborg said.

"After completing the various clinical trials, we hope to develop a commercially available product for doctors' use for cancer treatment in the next five to ten years," she added.

The two lead scientists added that they are also looking to trial HAMLET in Singapore and are in talks with local institutions and industry.


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. James Ho CS, Anna Rydstrom, Malathy Sony Subramanian Manimekalai, Catharina Svanborg, Gerhard Grόber. Low Resolution Solution Structure of HAMLET and the Importance of Its Alpha-Domains in Tumoricidal Activity. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (12): e53051 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053051
  2. M. Puthia, P. Storm, A. Nadeem, S. Hsiung, C. Svanborg. Prevention and treatment of colon cancer by peroral administration of HAMLET (human  -lactalbumin made lethal to tumour cells). Gut, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303715

Cite This Page:

Nanyang Technological University. "New tumor-killer shows great promise in suppressing cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105604.htm>.
Nanyang Technological University. (2013, May 21). New tumor-killer shows great promise in suppressing cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105604.htm
Nanyang Technological University. "New tumor-killer shows great promise in suppressing cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105604.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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