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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. 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