Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Cancer’s Thirst For Copper Can Be Targeted

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Drugs used to block copper absorption for a rare genetic condition may find an additional use as a treatment for certain types of cancer.

The Duke University researchers found that cancers with a mutation in the BRAF gene require copper to promote tumor growth. These tumors include melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that kills an estimated 10,000 people in the United States a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“BRAF-positive cancers like melanoma almost hunger for copper,” said Christopher M. Counter, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine and senior author of the study published April 9, 2014, in Nature.

The BRAF gene is involved in regulating cell division and differentiation. When mutated, the gene causes cells to grow out of control. Using animal models and cells, Counter and colleagues found that when they experimentally inhibited copper uptake by tumors with the BRAF mutation, they could curb tumor growth.

They achieved similar results with drugs used to treat patients with Wilson disease, a genetic disorder in which copper builds up in the tissue, primarily the brain and liver, causing damage. 

“Oral drugs used to lower copper levels in Wilson disease could be repurposed to treat BRAF-driven cancers like melanoma, or perhaps even others like thyroid or lung cancer,” said Donita C. Brady, Ph.D., lead author of the study. 

Already, a clinical trial has been approved at Duke to test the copper-reducing drugs in patients with melanoma, although enrollment has not yet begun: http://1.usa.gov/1qefSJm

“This is a great example of how basic research moves from the laboratory to the clinic,” Counter said. 

In addition to Counter and Brady, study authors include Matthew S. Crowe, Michelle L. Turski, G. Aaron Hobbs, Xiaojie Yao, Apirat Chaikuad, Stefan Knapp, Kunhong Xiao, Sharon L. Campbell and Dennis J. Thiele.

The National Institutes of Health provided funding (CA178145, HL075443, DK074192, CA094184, and CA172104), as did the Lymphoma Foundation and donations made in the name of Linda Woolfenden. A full list of additional funders is included in the manuscript.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Animals’ Genomic Buffers May Help Humans
Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School have identified a mechanism that explains why some mutations can be disease-causing in one genome but benign in another.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
New Gene Influences Apple or Pear Shape, Risk of Future Disease
Duke researchers have discovered that a gene called Plexin D1 controls both where fat is stored and how fat cells are shaped.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Bacterial Defense Mechanism Targets Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Gene therapy approach could treat 60 percent of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Gene Required for Recovery from Bacterial Infection Identified
Duke researchers have uncovered the genes that are normally activated during recovery from bacterial infection in the C. elegans worm. The finding could be key to new antibiotics and countering auto-immune disorders.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Cancer-Fighting Drugs Might Also Stop Malaria Early
A number of compounds have been identified which could be used to fight malaria.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Computational Methods Identify New Alloys
Duke University researchers have used computational methods to identify dozens of previously unknown platinum-group alloys.
Monday, January 06, 2014
Broad-Scale Genome Tinkering With Help of an RNA Guide
Duke researchers have devised a way to quickly and easily target and tinker with any gene in the human genome.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Recreating Natural Complex Gene Regulation
By reproducing in the laboratory the complex interactions that cause human genes to turn on inside cells, researchers have created a system they believe can benefit gene therapy research and the burgeoning field of synthetic biology.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Duke Blue Light Controls Gene Expression
New approach could greatly improve ability of researchers and physicians to control gene expression.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Genetic 'Tag Team' Keeps Cells on Cycle
Researchers uncovered new evidence that a network of influential genes acts as a kind of genetic tag team to the cell cycle.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Genomic Profiling of Lung Tumors Helps Doctors Choose most Effective Treatment
Determining the genetic profile of a particular lung tumor can help clinicians to decide about which chemotherapy treatment to try first.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Gene Regulation, not Just Genes, Sets Humans Apart
Duke researchers found variances in two major traits when they compared gene regulation in chimps, humans and rhesus macaques.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Genomic Analysis Uncovers new Targets for HIV Vaccine
Researchers have identified three gene variants in the DNA of 486 HIV infected people that appear to have helped some of the patients fight off the virus and delay the onset of full-blown AIDS.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Duke University Selects Illumina's Infinium HumanHap550 BeadChip
University's Center for Human Genetics selects the BeadChip for landmark Autism study.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Scientific News
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
Expanding the Brain
A team of researchers has identified more than 40 new “imprinted” genes, in which either the maternal or paternal copy of a gene is expressed while the other is silenced.
Identifying a Key Growth Factor in Cell Proliferation
Researchers discover that aspartate is a limiter of cell proliferation.
Study Uncovers Target for Preventing Huntington’s Disease
Scientists from Cardiff University believe that a treatment to prevent or delay the symptoms of Huntington’s disease could now be much closer, following a major breakthrough.
The Genetic Roots of Adolescent Scoliosis
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in collaboration with Keio University in Japan have discovered a gene that is linked to susceptibility of Scoliosis.
A Gene-Sequence Swap Using CRISPR to Cure Haemophilia
For the first time chromosomal defects responsible for hemophilia have been corrected in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases
New Tool Uses 'Drug Spillover' to Match Cancer Patients with Treatments
Researchers have developed a new tool that improves the ability to match drugs to disease: the Kinase Addiction Ranker (KAR) predicts what genetics are truly driving the cancer in any population of cells and chooses the best "kinase inhibitor" to silence these dangerous genetic causes of disease.
Understanding the Molecular Origin of Epigenetic Markers
Researchers at IRB Barcelona discover the molecular mechanism that determines how epigenetic markers influence gene expression.
New Tech Enables Epigenomic Analysis with a Mere 100 Cells
A new technology that will dramatically enhance investigations of epigenomes, the machinery that turns on and off genes and a very prominent field of study in diseases such as stem cell differentiation, inflammation and cancer has been developed by researchers at Virginia Tech.
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!