Tag Archives: Tumor Protein

Targeting Proteins May Prevent Metastasis of Cancers

Targeting Proteins May Prevent Metastasis of Cancers
Targeting Proteins May Prevent Metastasis of Cancers

New research has uncovered the existence of a protein that helps tumors spread, enabling their capacity to grow blood vessels. Could targeting this protein in cancer treatment experimentation lead to a new potential cure?

Not So Fast!
Published in the journal Oncogene, the study involved laboratory experiments blocking the protein latent TGF-beta binding protein 3 (LTBP3), prevented tumors from effectively metastasizing. A collaborative effort between multiple researchers, the investigation began based on the observation that lower levels of the protein LTBP3 correlated to an improved survival outcome in those with certain types of cancer.

A Complex Dynamic
The LTBP3 protein binds to a substance called TGF-beta to metastasize. TGF-beta presents a double-edged sword, either aiding the spread of tumors – or putting a halt to metastasis. Our bodies rely on TGF-beta to function properly. In early stages, it suppresses cancer growth. However in advanced cancers, it transforms and promotes tumor growth. The cancer treatment trick? To control the harmful effects of TGF-beta without disturbing normal cell function.

A Confirmed Association
As researchers looked closer into the interplay of LTBP3 and TGF-beta using head and neck carcinoma and fibroscarcoma in mice and chicks, the scientists discovered LTBP3 helps tumors grow blood vessels, and primary tumors could not metastasize properly in its absence. This corroborated the previous research associating lower levels of the LTBP3 protein with better patient outcomes. Further research into this complex dynamic is highly anticipated.

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Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments
Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

While a protein known as p53 has long been recognized as a potent factor in suppressing tumors, the reasons have been unclear. Scientists are now discovering more about p53, including the existence of a “super” version, that may have valuable implications for cancer immunotherapy.

Finding the Right Balance

Balance is essential for realizing the maximum benefits of p53. Too little leaves the door open for tumor growth, but too much can cause developmental problems.

A research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine tested a variety of p53 mutations on mice that were susceptible to pancreatic cancer. The scientists were surprised to find that one version of the protein kept the mice tumor-free for longer periods of time.

A “Supercharged” Tumor Suppressor

According to Dr. Laura Attardi, senior author of the study, the mutated protein hit a “sweet spot” that allowed embryos to develop without any problems and gave adult mice greater resistance to tumors. The mutation appears to hyperactivate the p53 protein, causing it to affect a number of downstream targets.

With hundreds of genes impacted by p53 activity, Attardi’s team turned to the question of discovering which ones were involved in tumor development. They discovered the pathway of three proteins, led by p53, that created a chain reaction preventing development of tumor cells.

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Presence of the Protein CSN6 in Bowel Tumors Linked to a Poorer Bowel Cancer Prognosis

Protein Found In Bowel Tumors.
Protein Found In Bowel Tumors.

The Issels® Center for Immune-Oncology reports that a study conducted by researchers based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the presence of a specific protein molecule in bowel tumor samples indicate a less favorable prognosis.

Samples from patients suffering from bowel cancer were examined for a protein molecule called CSN6. This protein molecule is a regulator for multiple pathways. Among other things, it regulates some cell life cycles. Researchers looked at tissue samples from the actual tumor. In cases where the CSN6 molecule was found to be present, the colorectal cancer prognosis was determined to have a much shorter recurrence-free survival rate. In other words, where this protein molecule was found, those patients were more likely to have a recurrence of the colorectal cancer than in patients whose tumor samples did not contain the protein molecule.

These findings could be helpful in determining the best course of treatment for patients. The molecule itself could potentially be a future treatment target after further studies on its different pathways and possible molecular alterations. Bowel cancer patients can have the tumor tissue sample analyzed for the presence of the CSN6 molecule. If found, those patients would warrant closer monitoring and more frequent follow-up visits to catch future cancer recurrence as soon as possible.

Though these findings sound negative at first reading, they have very positive possibilities for colorectal patients. Using this discovery, higher risk patients could have a better chance of survival than before.

To learn more about the results of this study, or to find out more ways to handle a bowel cancer diagnosis, please contact us today at Issels®.