Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cytomegalovirus might speed brain-cancer growth

Date:
June 1, 2013
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infects most middle-aged Americans but usually remains dormant in the body. This study indicates that, in mice, a mouse CMV speeds the progression of an aggressive form of brain cancer when particular genes are shut off in tumor cells. The findings suggest that viruses might influence cancer progression, and that anti-viral therapy might improve the treatment of these aggressive brain tumors.

A virus that infects most Americans but that usually remains dormant in the body might speed the progression of an aggressive form of brain cancer when particular genes are shut off in tumor cells, new research shows. The animal study by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC -- James) and at Dana Farber Cancer Institute suggests that cytomegalovirus (CMV) might significantly accelerate the development and progression of glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Related Articles


The virus by itself does not cause cancer, the study suggests, but it might influence tumor development when changes occur that silence two genes called p53 and Nf1 in tumor cells. These genes are protective "tumor suppressor" genes that normally cause cells to die before they become malignant. But cancer-related changes can silence them, enabling malignant cells to survive, multiply and form tumors.

The findings are published in the journal Cancer Research. Some 50 to 80 percent of Americans become infected with CMV by age 40. The virus is transmitted by contact with infected saliva and other body fluids, and through sexual contact. Most people are infected early in life and then the virus remains dormant.

"CMV has been detected in many cancer types, suggesting that it might be reactivated when cancer occurs in the body," says co-corresponding author and researcher Dr. Chang-Hyuk Kwon, assistant professor of neurological surgery, at the OSUCCC -- James and at the Dardinger Center for Neuro-oncology and Neurosciences.

The researchers also learned that CMV stimulates tumor-cell proliferation by activating a biochemical cell pathway called STAT3. In healthy cells, STAT3 plays an important role in controlling cell proliferation.

"Our data indicate that CMV contributes to glioblastoma when already-mutated cancer cells proliferate using the STAT3 signaling pathway," Kwon says. "We believe that CMV's action occurs in the tumor's cells of origin early in tumor initiation."

The findings raise questions about how cancer is studied, says co-corresponding author Dr. E. Antonio Chiocca, chairman of neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and surgical director for the Center for Neuro-oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

"First, we usually study cancer in models that are virus-free, but our findings suggest that CMV might play a significant role in human cancers," he says.

"Secondly, anti-viral therapy against CMV might now be justified for human cancers, and immune responses to such cancer-modulating viruses should be carefully studied," Chiocca says.

About 18,500 new cases of glioblastoma multiforme are expected annually in the U.S., and 12,760 Americans are expected to die of the disease.

Kwon, Chiocca and their colleagues conducted the study using two mouse models infected with murine CMV (MCMV). One model developed glioblastoma spontaneously; the other received implants of human glioblastoma cells. Key technical findings include:

  • MCMV-infected mice with genetic mutations in p53 and NF1 in their brain cells that predisposed them to spontaneous glioblastoma had shorter survival than non-MCMV-infected mice with the same mutations;
  • Implanting human gliomas into the brains of MCMV-infected animals significantly shortened their survival compared with controls;
  • MCMV infection increased levels of activated STAT3 in neural stem cells, the cells in which glioblastoma is thought to originate;
  • Human CMV increased STAT3 activation and proliferation of patient-derived glioblastoma cells; a STAT3 inhibitor reversed this effect in cell and animal models.

Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. R. L. Price, J. Song, K. Bingmer, T. H. Kim, J.-Y. Yi, M. O. Nowicki, X. Mo, T. Hollon, E. Murnan, C. Alvarez-Breckenridge, S. Fernandez, B. Kaur, A. Rivera, M. Oglesbee, C. Cook, E. A. Chiocca, C.-H. Kwon. Cytomegalovirus Contributes to Glioblastoma in the Context of Tumor Suppressor Mutations. Cancer Research, 2013; 73 (11): 3441 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3846

Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Cytomegalovirus might speed brain-cancer growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130601133820.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2013, June 1). Cytomegalovirus might speed brain-cancer growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130601133820.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Cytomegalovirus might speed brain-cancer growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130601133820.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) 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