Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colon cancer researchers target stem cells, discover viable new therapeutic path

Date:
December 1, 2013
Source:
University Health Network
Summary:
A team of scientists and surgeons have discovered a promising new approach to treating colorectal cancer by disarming the gene that drives self-renewal in stem cells that are the root cause of disease, resistance to treatment and relapse. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world.

Scientists and surgeons at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered a promising new approach to treating colorectal cancer by disarming the gene that drives self-renewal in stem cells that are the root cause of disease, resistance to treatment and relapse. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world.

"This is the first step toward clinically applying the principles of cancer stem cell biology to control cancer growth and advance the development of durable cures," says principal investigator Dr. John Dick about the findings published online today in Nature Medicine.

He talks about the research in this video -- click the link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK7JquljkBc.

Dr. Dick pioneered the cancer stem cell field by first identifying leukemia stem cells (1994) and colon cancer stem cells (2007). He is also renowned for isolating a human blood stem cell in its purest form -- as a single stem cell capable of regenerating the entire blood system -- paving the way for clinical use (2011). Dr. Dick holds a Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology and is a Senior Scientist at University Health Network's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. He is also a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, and Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

In pre-clinical experiments, the research team replicated human colon cancer in mice to determine if specifically targeting the stem cells was clinically relevant. First, the researchers identified that the gene BMI-1, already implicated in maintaining stem cells in other cancers, is the pivotal regulator of colon cancer stem cells and drives the cycle of self-renewal, proliferation and cell survival. Next, the team used an existing small-molecule inhibitor to successfully block BMI-1, thus demonstrating the clinical relevance of this approach.

Lead author Dr. Antonija Kreso writes: "Inhibiting a recognized regulator of self-renewal is an effective approach to control tumor growth, providing strong evidence for the clinical relevance of self-renewal as a biological process for therapeutic targeting."

Dr. Dick explains: "When we blocked the BMI-1 pathway, the stem cells were unable to self-renew, which resulted in long-term and irreversible impairment of tumour growth. In other words, the cancer was permanently shut down."

Surgeon-scientist Dr. Catherine O'Brien, senior co-author of the study says: "The clinical potential of this research is exciting because it maps a viable way to develop targeted treatment for colon cancer patients. It is already known that about 65% have the BMI-1 biomarker. With the target identified, and a proven way to tackle it, this knowledge could readily translate into first-in-human trials to provide more personalized cancer medicine."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Antonija Kreso, Peter van Galen, Nicholas M Pedley, Evelyne Lima-Fernandes, Catherine Frelin, Thomas Davis, Liangxian Cao, Ramil Baiazitov, Wu Du, Nadiya Sydorenko, Young-Choon Moon, Lianne Gibson, Yadong Wang, Cherry Leung, Norman N Iscove, Cheryl H Arrowsmith, Eva Szentgyorgyi, Steven Gallinger, John E Dick, Catherine A O'Brien. Self-renewal as a therapeutic target in human colorectal cancer. Nature Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3418

Cite This Page:

University Health Network. "Colon cancer researchers target stem cells, discover viable new therapeutic path." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131201140207.htm>.
University Health Network. (2013, December 1). Colon cancer researchers target stem cells, discover viable new therapeutic path. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131201140207.htm
University Health Network. "Colon cancer researchers target stem cells, discover viable new therapeutic path." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131201140207.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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