Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improved effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer

Date:
August 15, 2013
Source:
University of Bern
Summary:
Cancer cells often develop defence mechanisms which enable them to survive chemotherapy. A group of researchers have presented new solutions for preventing the development of such resistances.

Cancer cells often develop defense mechanisms which enable them to survive chemotherapy. A group of researchers from the Institutes of Pharmacology and Pathology in Bern present new solutions for preventing the development of such resistances.

Cells can break down damaged molecules as well as whole areas of the cells themselves by means of self-digestion and utilize the decomposition products resulting from this process for the production of energy and new molecules or cell parts. This process of self-digestion is called autophagy and can be considered a renovation of the cell. The generation of energy by means of autophagy plays a special role for the cells if they do not have enough nutrients, oxygen or growth factors.

However, autophagy can also be used by tumour cells in order to survive stress situations such as chemotherapy - they digest the destroyed cell parts and regenerate themselves. This makes them resistant to the therapy. Now, a group of scientists from the University of Bern under the direction of Hans-Uwe Simon from the Institute of Pharmacology has discovered that the autophagy of tumour cells can be influenced with pharmacological means. The findings reveal new therapy approaches for the treatment of cancer. The study is published today in Nature Communications

Preventing the reanimation of tumour cells

The researchers studied the importance of autophagy for tumour cells. Often, chemotherapy alone is not able to destroy all of the tumour cells. While some of the tumour cells survive the therapy by means of autophagy, others go through a so-called «mitotic catastrophe», a state in which they are no longer able to divide. If these damaged cells do not die, they can cause cancer again.

Now, however, the group of scientists gathered by Hans-Uwe Simon has found a way to prevent the survival of cancer cells after chemotherapy. They discovered a connection between autophagy and mitotic catastrophe: when the self-digestion of cancer cells was suppressed by means of pharmaceuticals, the mitotic catastrophe directly resulted in cell death. This way, the survival mechanisms of cancer cells were eliminated.

With this method, the effectiveness of the usual chemotherapy can be significantly improved: "We hope that, based on these findings, we will be able to develop new therapies which will prevent the chemoresistance of established tumours", said Hans-Uwe Simon, the head of the study.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Dipak Maskey, Shida Yousefi, Inès Schmid, Inti Zlobec, Aurel Perren, Robert Friis, Hans-Uwe Simon. ATG5 is induced by DNA-damaging agents and promotes mitotic catastrophe independent of autophagy. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3130

Cite This Page:

University of Bern. "Improved effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815084753.htm>.
University of Bern. (2013, August 15). Improved effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815084753.htm
University of Bern. "Improved effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815084753.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) — The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) — The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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:

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