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.

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 April 23, 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 April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 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:
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