Thu, Apr 27, 2017 | updated 08:50 AM IST

Discovery of ovarian cancer target paves way for new treatment

Updated: Jul 11, 2016 08:19 IST      
Discovery of ovarian cancer target paves way for new treatment

Washington D.C, Jul 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has brought fresh hope in the form of a new treatment target for ovarian cancer aka "the silent killer."

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory arrived at "new insights into signalling events that underlie metastasis in ovarian cancer cells," said researcher Gaofeng Fan.

"The statistics point to the urgent need to address advanced disease - metastasis - in ovarian cancer," Fan noted, adding "The problem is especially difficult because of a feature specific to this form of cancer: ovarian cells move around readily within the peritoneal cavity, via the peritoneal fluid, both under normal conditions, and also, unfortunately, when cancer is present. Thus, in addition to being able to colonize other sites in the body via blood vessels, ovarian cancer cells have another way of migrating. It's very hard to render patients free of the disease via surgery due to this diffusion feature."

The team found a previously undiscovered pathway, through which ovarian cells can be transformed into cancer cells, one they think provides an excellent opportunity for targeting by new drugs, which, when combined with others now in development, may be able to stave off metastatic disease.

The newly uncovered pathway depends on activity of a protein called FER, a member of a family of proteins (called non-receptor tyrosine kinases) that add phosphate groups to other proteins. FER can be found floating in the cytoplasm of cells, and in a series of initial experiments, Fan and the team demonstrated that it is both "upregulated," i.e., overproduced, in ovarian cancer cells, and, importantly, responsible for the elevated motility and invasiveness of such cells. This was observed in human ovarian cancer cells grown in culture, and then in mouse models of the disease.

The key discovery made by the team is that FER is able to activate a receptor on the surface of ovarian cells "from below," as it were - by interacting with a portion of the receptor that penetrates the cell membrane and plunges into the cytoplasm. That receptor is a well known target in ovarian cancer. Called MET, it is typically activated when a growth factor called HGF binds it at the cell surface. MET is overexpressed in up to 60% of ovarian tumors and its activation has been implicated in both cancer initiation and in advanced cancers with poor prognosis.

"We showed FER was essential for ovarian cancer cell motility and invasiveness, both in vitro and in vivo," Researcher Nicholas K. Tonks said.

He added, "Considering that frequent amplification of MET accounts for resistance to therapies now in development and to poor prognosis, not only in ovarian cancer but in other cancers too, our findings pinpoint an important new signaling hub, involving the role of FER in MET activation. This may provide a novel strategy for therapeutic intervention, perhaps a drug to suppress FER being administered along with a MET inhibitor."

The study appears in the journal Genes and Development. (ANI)

Lung for Long: Gasp No More

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 18:45 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 26 (ANI-Businesswire India): Lungs in Delhi seem to be in dire straits. In the midst of ever thickening air pollution and lifestyle gone astray, lung power is ebbing fast. Data emerging from April 25 lung health camp organized in iconic Press Club of India (PCI) on the occasion of World Asthma Day pressed panic button as regards lung health of the capital city.

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Risk of obesity influenced by changes in our genes

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 15:22 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 26 (ANI): According to new study, a child's risk of obesity while growing up can be influenced by modifications to their DNA prior to birth.

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Patient with rare knee cancer undergoes life saving surgery

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 13:52 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 26 (ANI): A resident of Ganganager, in Rajasthan, was diagnosed of Large Soft Tissue Sarcoma (9Kg), with Neuro Vascular involvement.

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Here`s how protein impacts intellectual disability

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 07:36 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 26 (ANI): A new study has paved the way for the potential treatments of intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Stem cells can help identify neuronal defects, suggests Study

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 12:26 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 (ANI): According to a recent study, the researchers used stem cells derived from patients with Angelman syndrome to identify the underlying cellular defects that cause the rare neurogenetic disorder.

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#WorldMalariaDay: Effective steps to prevent Malaria

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 (ANI): The theme for World Malaria Day this year is "End Malaria for Good".

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Artificial Intelligence may help in diagnosing Tuberoculosis

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 (ANI): If you are a patient of Tuberculosis, then we might have some good news for you.

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London [UK], Apr 25 (ANI): According to a new study, only one in five victims with serious injuries caused by child abuse in England and Wales gets treated at a major trauma centre.

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Gene reveals cause of fatal childhood disorder: Study

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 17:51 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A gene, involved in brain development, which can lead to severe disability and infant death, has been identified by scientists.

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Alcohol: the modern age liver killer

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 17:51 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Alcohol is predominantly metabolized through liver, hence its cumulative toxicity over years play important role in liver diseases or pancreatic diseases.

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Washington D.C. [USA], April 24 (ANI): Due to increasing deaths because of prostate cancer among men, US researchers have suggested a special screening more frequently and at an early age to avoid the development of preclinical prostate cancer - that is not symptomatic - to advanced stages.

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Love guzzling diet sodas? Here is why you should NOT

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 07:02 IST     

New York [U.S.], Apr. 24 (ANI): Still downing gallons of diet soda despite knowing that it wrecks your body? Maybe the knowledge of artificially sweetened beverages taking a toll on your brain as well ought to make an impact on your unhealthy habit.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): A recent study has demonstrated that in the general population, central obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, lipid abnormalities and high alcohol consumption were the strongest predictors of severe liver disease.

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Breastmilk may help detect your cancer risk

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 11:50 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): Breastmilk might offer clues about a woman's cancer risk, according to a recent research.

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Soon, new weapon in war against obesity

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 11:14 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): A team of scientists has uncovered a potential approach to combat obesity.

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Turns out, being obese is worse than smoking

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 10:52 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): You may want to shed those extra kilos as a recent study has found obesity as a top cause of preventable life-years lost.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): Testing for molecular markers in the urine of kidney transplant patients could reveal whether the transplant is failing and why, according to a recent research.

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From urine to blood: How antibiotic resistance spreads

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 09:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): People with drug-resistant bacteria in their urine or stool samples are at an increased risk of developing Sepsis, a bloodstream infection that is also resistant to certain antibiotics, according to a recent study.

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Move over contact lenses, LASIK is better

Updated: Apr 22, 2017 18:05 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], April 22 (ANI): Good news for those who underwent LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) for correction of their vision, as a recent study has found that the rate of cornea infection is lower.

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Early detection of oral cancer can increase survival chances

Updated: Apr 22, 2017 08:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr. 22 (ANI): In today's era of booming medical advancements, the chances of survival from cancer can be increased, if it is detected at an early stage.

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