Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New approach makes cancer cells explode

Date:
March 20, 2014
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, literally explode. The established treatments that are available for glioblastoma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But even if this treatment is given the average survival is just 15 months. It is therefore critical to find better treatments for malignant brain tumors.

Graphical abstract.
Credit: Cell, Ernfors and colleagues

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumour, literally explode. When mice were given the substance, which can be given in tablet form, tumour growth was reversed and survival was prolonged. The findings are published in the journal Cell.

Related Articles


The established treatments that are available for glioblastoma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But even if this treatment is given the average survival is just 15 months. It is therefore critical to find better treatments for malignant brain tumours.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and colleagues at Uppsala University have discovered an entirely new mechanism to kill tumour cells in glioblastoma. Researchers in an initial stage have exposed tumour cells to a wide range of molecules. If the cancer cells died, the molecule was considered of interest for further studies, which initially applied to over 200 kinds of molecules. Following extensive studies, a single molecule has been identified as being of particular interest. The researchers wanted to find out why it caused cancer cell death.

It was found that the molecule gave the cancer cells an uncontrolled vacuolization, a process in which the cell carries substances from outside the cell into its interior. This carrying process is made via the vacuoles, which can roughly be described as blisters or bags consisting of cell membranes. The process is similar to what was behind last year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, the discovery that describes how cellular vesicles move things from the interior of the cell to its surface.

When cancer cells were filled with a large amount of vacuoles, the cell membranes (the outer wall of the cell) collapsed and the cell simply exploded and necrotized.

"This is an entirely new mechanism for cancer treatment. A possible medicine based on this principle would therefore attack the glioblastoma in an entirely new way. This principle may also work for other cancer diseases, we have not really explored this yet," says Patrik Ernfors, professor of tissue biology at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet.

Researchers made mice that had human glioblastoma cells transplanted ingest the substance for five days. The average survival was about 30 days for the control group that did not receive the substance. Of those who received the substance six of eight mice were still alive after 80 days. The study was then considered of such interest that the scientific journal wanted to publish the article immediately.

"We now want to try to take this discovery in basic research through preclinical development and all the way to the clinic. The goal is to get into a phase 1 trial," says Patrik Ernfors.

The study has been funded with money from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Cancer Society, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Brain Foundation, Hållsten's Research Foundation, the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, and Wallenberg Scholar.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Satish Srinivas Kitambi, Enrique M. Toledo, Dmitry Usoskin, Shimei Wee, Aditya Harisankar, Richard Svensson, Kristmundur Sigmundsson, Christina Kalderén, Mia Niklasson, Soumi Kundu, Sergi Aranda, Bengt Westermark, Lene Uhrbom, Michael Andäng, Peter Damberg, Sven Nelander, Ernest Arenas, Per Artursson, Julian Walfridsson, Karin Forsberg Nilsson, Lars G.J. Hammarström, et al. Vulnerability of Glioblastoma Cells to Catastrophic Vacuolization and Death Induced by a Small Molecule. Cell, 20 March 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.021

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "New approach makes cancer cells explode." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320121906.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2014, March 20). New approach makes cancer cells explode. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320121906.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "New approach makes cancer cells explode." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320121906.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) 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