Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Singapore Scientists Identify New Biomarker for Cancer in Bone Marrow

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012
Bookmark and Share
This discovery may potentially cure patients of multiple myeloma.

Singapore scientists have identified FAIM, a molecule that typically prevents cell death, as a potential biomarker to identify an incurable form of cancer in the bone marrow.

Patients with this form of cancer usually do not get cured with current standard treatments such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, with an average survival of only about four years.

FAIM could thus be a therapeutic target in these patients, as drugs developed to target the molecule could destroy multiple myeloma cells and hence eradicate the cancer.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of blood cells, which arises due to an uncontrollable accumulation of antibody-producing plasma cells in the bone marrow.

In Singapore, about 80 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed every year. Unfortunately, most people who develop multiple myeloma have no clearly identifiable risk factors for the disease but factors such as individuals older than 50 years of age, men and obesity, may predispose one to the cancer.

The scientists discovered that a protein called Fas apoptosis inhibitory molecule (FAIM) can affect the activation of Akt, an important enzyme required for cancer cell proliferation.

By silencing the expression of FAIM, the team showed that the myeloma cells could be destroyed. It was also found that this protein was present at higher levels in the plasma cells of these patients as compared to normal individuals, and that higher levels of FAIM correlated to poorer survival outcomes of patients.

This is an important breakthrough as it not only identifies FAIM as a useful biomarker of multiple myeloma patients, but also as a good target that drugs can be developed for, in order to get rid of the cancer cells.

This collaborative research was conducted by scientists at A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) led by Prof Lam Kong-Peng, along with clinician-scientists at National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore. The research findings were published in Leukemia on 5 December 2012.

Prof Lam said, "This study adds onto previous studies in the institute demonstrating the utility of FAIM not only in biotechnology but now potentially in the clinic. It is a prime example of how a better understanding of FAIM protein function enables us to first use it to increase yield in biologics manufacturing, and now as a potential prognostic biomarker in the clinic for a deadly human disease such as multiple myeloma. This is really a translation from bench-to-bioreactor and bench-to-bedside."

"Treatment failure due to drug resistance is an important reason why patients with multiple myeloma have a poor outcome. In this study, we identified FAIM as a new biomarker that is associated with poor outcome as well as an important mediator of growth signals in myeloma cells that could lead to drug resistance. The detection of this biomarker will allow us to identify these high risk patients and possibly develop treatments that target FAIM to improve their outcome. This study also underlines the potential for collaborative work between A*STAR research institutes (BTI), CSI Singapore and the National University Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS) to perform research that may have significant impact on patients," said Associate Professor Chng Wee Joo, who is Senior Consultant Haematologist at the Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS and Senior Principal Investigator at CSI.


Further Information

Join For Free

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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,700+ 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

Colorful Nanoprobes Make A Simple Test
Gold nanoparticles linked to single-stranded DNA create a simple but versatile genetic testing kit.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
A*STAR Scientists Discover Potential Drug for Deadly Brain Cancer
This discovery can potentially prevent the progression and relapse of deadly brain tumours.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Breakthroughs in Chikungunya Research Spell New Hope for Better Treatment and Protection
A*STAR's SIgN have made great strides in the battle against the infectious disease.
Monday, September 24, 2012
A*STAR Scientists Pinpoint Genetic Changes that Spell Cancer
Fruit flies light the way for scientists to uncover genetic changes.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Discovery of the Cellular Origin of Cervical Cancer
A team of scientists have identified a unique set of cells in the cervix that are the cause of HPV related cervical cancers.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Scientific News
Portable Test Rapidly Detects Zika
To better diagnose and track the disease, scientists are now reporting a new $2 test that in the lab can accurately detect low levels of the virus in saliva.
Erasing Unpleasant Memories with a Genetic Switch
Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have managed to erase unpleasant memories in mice using a 'genetic switch'.
New Cancer Drug Target in Dual-Function Protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a protein that launches cancer growth and appears to contribute to higher mortality in breast cancer patients.
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
“Amazing Protein Diversity” Discovered in Maize
The genome of the corn plant – or maize, as it’s called almost everywhere except the US – “is a lot more exciting” than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant’s genetic resources.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Revealing the Genetic Causes of Bowel Cancer
A landmark study has given the most detailed picture yet of the genetics of bowel cancer — the UK's fourth most common cancer.
Tumor Cells Develop Predictable Characteristics
Scientists have discovered that cancer cells at the edge of a tumor that are close to the surrounding environment are predictably different from the cells within the interior of the tumor.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!