Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Forcing cancer to digest itself

Date:
September 12, 2013
Source:
University of Bern
Summary:
When tumour cells no longer degrade themselves, cancer may develop. Using black skin cancer as an example, researchers have now shown that a protein plays an important role in the process of degradation of tumour cells. By reactivating this degradation therapeutically, tumours can be virtually forced to digest themselves.

When tumour cells no longer degrade themselves, cancer may develop. Using black skin cancer as an example, Bern Researchers have now shown that a protein plays an important role in the process of degradation of tumour cells. By reactivating this degradation therapeutically, you can virtually force tumours to digest themselves.

Related Articles


Cells are able to degrade damaged molecules as well as entire areas of cells by self-digestion and use the resulting degradation products to gain energy and to produce new molecules or parts of cells. This process of self-digestion is called autophagy and can be considered a renovation of the cell.

Energy production through autophagy plays an important role for cells when they are lacking nutrients, oxygen or growth factors. A team of researchers of the University of Bern under the direction of Hans-Uwe Simon of the Institute of Pharmacology has now found out that a reduced self-digestion of tumour cells may contribute to the development of a melanoma. The discoveries demonstrate new therapy approaches for the treatment of black skin cancer. The study is being published today in "Science Translational Medicine."

Nipping the tumour "in the bud"

The researchers examined the importance of autophagy for the formation of tumours. They particularly studied a central autophagy-regulating protein (ATG5) in a group of nearly 200 patients with melanoma. They found out that changes in the chromosomes -- so-called epigenetic changes -- resulted in the presence of an insufficient quantity of ATG5 in the tumour cells and thus in a restriction of their self-digestion. In addition, the group with Hans-Uwe Simon was able to show experimentally that the formation of tumours can be prevented through a therapeutic normalisation of self-digestion. This reveals a new approach for the future therapy of melanomas and perhaps also other types of cancer at an early stage: "In the future, ATG5 might not only play a role in the diagnosis of melanomas; we also hope for new therapies in order to force tumours at an early stage to digest themselves," Simon explains.


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. H. Liu, Z. He, T. von Rutte, S. Yousefi, R. E. Hunger, H.-U. Simon. Down-Regulation of Autophagy-Related Protein 5 (ATG5) Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Early-Stage Cutaneous Melanoma. Science Translational Medicine, 2013; 5 (202): 202ra123 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005864

Cite This Page:

University of Bern. "Forcing cancer to digest itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912092547.htm>.
University of Bern. (2013, September 12). Forcing cancer to digest itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912092547.htm
University of Bern. "Forcing cancer to digest itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912092547.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. 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