Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impeding communication between cancer tissue, immune cells with new molecule

Date:
January 29, 2014
Source:
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Summary:
Formation of the messenger molecule Interferon-beta is increased in infections and cancer diseases. Amongst other things, it prevents formation of new blood vessels within a tumor, thus inhibiting its growth. Scientists have discovered that Interferon-beta does so by impeding the communication between cancer tissue and immune cells.

Fluorescence image showing a neutrophil (in red) going out of the blood vessel (in green) into a tumour. These immune cells facilitate tumour vessel growth, thus connecting the tumour with the vital blood supply.
Credit: HZI/Jablonska-Koch

The name of the Interferon-beta (IFN-β) molecule and the English word "interfere" go back to the same Latin roots. And interfering is exactly what this messenger molecule, whose formation is increased in infections and cancer diseases, does. Consequently, it is often administered therapeutically. Amongst other things, it prevents formation of new blood vessels within a tumor, thus inhibiting its growth. Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) have now discovered that IFN-β does so by impeding the communication between cancer tissue and immune cells. Their findings, published in the scientific magazine International Journal of Cancer, help to understand how this "jamming" can be used therapeutically.

Just like healthy cells, tumor cells need nutrients and oxygen in order to survive. For this reason, a tumor of a certain size has to ensure that it is connected to the blood circulation. In doing this, it is supported by cells of the innate immune system, the neutrophil granulocytes or brief neutrophils, which are supposed to protect the body against pathogens.

Neutrophils normally circulate in the blood until -- attracted by so-called chemokines -- they enter the tissue where they ingest and destroy intruding pathogens. In addition, these cells are able to trigger the formation of blood vessels. Presumably, this is how they help to repair tissue which has been destroyed by inflammation. However, neutrophils are also able to enter cancer tissue and contribute to its connection to the blood supply. This is probably the reason why detection of numerous neutrophils in a tumor is a sign of unfavorable patient prognosis.

IFN-β is used as a treatment for some tumors such as melanomas and leukemia. Scientists at the HZI in Braunschweig had shown recently that this messenger molecule can interfere with cancer growth by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels. However, the way it does so remained a puzzle.

Now, researchers have succeeded in revealing the effect of IFN-β on migration of pro-tumor neutrophils. "We wanted to understand why IFN-β prevents the neutrophils from entering the tumor," says Dr Jadwiga Jablonska-Koch, scientist in the "Molecular Immunology" department at the HZI. "This would be the way for physicians to improve existing therapies and choose appropriate treatment for the individual patient."

To this end, the scientists followed the interaction between the cells. Messenger molecules such as chemokines are a means of communication frequently used for this purpose. They are produced by cells and bind to correspondingly shaped surface receptors. In the case of neutrophils, this is the receptor called CXCR2. It binds the chemokines CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL5. "We have seen that the concentration of the chemokines in the bone marrow, where the neutrophils originate, is low," says Dr Siegfried Weiss, head of the department in which Jablonska-Koch works. "On the other hand, we find a high concentration in the tumor, which attracts the neutrophils." Neutrophils migrate along the chemokine gradient into the tumor and once there, they themselves release the same chemokines in order to attract other neutrophils to obtain more support.

IFN-β interferes with this communication: it makes the cells in the tumor produce fewer chemokines and no chemokine gradient is formed. "That way, fewer neutrophils enter the cancer tissue and fewer new blood vessels are formed," says Jablonska-Koch. "The tumor is not effectively connected to the vital blood supply and cannot grow efficiently." For that reason it is of therapeutical benefit to administer IFN-β additionally. "We now better understand why IFN-β helps in some cancers and that it is an important part of the body's own system for combating tumors," says Weiss. Their findings could help physicians to assess which patients might profit from administering IFN-β and when neutrophils ought to be an objective of cancer therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Jablonska, C.-F. Wu, L. Andzinski, S. Leschner, S. Weiss. CXCR2-mediated tumor-associated neutrophil recruitment is regulated by IFN-β. International Journal of Cancer, 2014; 134 (6): 1346 DOI: 10.1002/ijc.28551

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. "Impeding communication between cancer tissue, immune cells with new molecule." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129114932.htm>.
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. (2014, January 29). Impeding communication between cancer tissue, immune cells with new molecule. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129114932.htm
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. "Impeding communication between cancer tissue, immune cells with new molecule." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129114932.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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