Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
A review article by researchers suggests that epigenetics may be a useful target to stop the growth, spread and relapse of cancer.

A review article by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) suggests that epigenetics may be a useful target to stop the growth, spread and relapse of cancer. The findings are published online in Volume 14 of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

The term epigenetics refers to the external modifications to DNA that turn genes "on" or "off." These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells read genes.

The researchers propose that epigenetic and other changes mediate the development of cancer progenitor cells. These cells represent the early stage of cancer cell development and can grow rapidly to become full-fledged cancer. According to the researchers, progression of different cancer stages and development of metastatic potential requires differentiation of these cancer progenitor cells.

"These findings are not only important in understanding how cancer progresses, but also help in understanding how cancer progenitor cells grow and differentiate via epigenetic regulators," said Sibaji Sarkar, PhD, instructor of medicine at BUSM.

Mutated cells are more vulnerable to the environment. Some of these mutations may alter epigenetic regulation in addition to epigenetic changes occurring by external and internal influences, which impacts gene expression and regulates cell behavior, playing a profound role when normal cells develop into progenitor cancer cells.

Sarkar and his colleagues hypothesize that when the progenitor cancer cells metastasize, rapid growth halts. When differentiation is complete, the rapid growth resumes.

The researchers believe that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in this process. Once a degree of metastatic form of cancer is achieved, the genes, which cause the change, become inactive and the genes causing rapid growth are again turned on.

"The acknowledgement of epigenetic changes as key regulators of this switching is expected to generate better epigenetic drugs. It has been suggested that epigenetic drug treatment in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs may have better outcomes in preventing and treating drug-resistant cancers," he added.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sibaji Sarkar, Garrick Horn, Kimberly Moulton, Anuja Oza, Shannon Byler, Shannon Kokolus, McKenna Longacre. Cancer Development, Progression, and Therapy: An Epigenetic Overview. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2013; 14 (10): 21087 DOI: 10.3390/ijms141021087

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132852.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2013, October 30). Researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132852.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132852.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