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

Human Melanomas in Mice Predict Skin Cancer

Published: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Spread of human melanoma cells in mice correlates with clinical outcomes in patients, UTSW investigators find.

UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists led by Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, have developed an innovative model for predicting the progression of skin cancer in patients.

In a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, Stage III human melanoma cells from 20 patients were implanted into specially selected mice with compromised immune systems.

Using this xenograft model, in which tissue is transplanted from one species to another, the institute’s team observed reproducible differences in the rate at which the cancer spread in the mice, or metastasized, that correlated with clinical outcomes in patients.

Dr. Morrison said human melanomas that metastasized efficiently in the mice eventually progressed to advanced, Stage IV disease in patients - spreading to distant organs, such as the brain, liver, or lungs. When the melanoma did not metastasize efficiently in the mice, it also did not form distant metastases in patients.

This xenograft model will make it possible to study the mechanisms that regulate disease progression and distant metastasis of melanomas in patients.

The researchers said they hope that their system will lead to new prognostic markers that identify patients at highest risk of disease progression as well as new therapies.

“We believe this is the only time in cancer biology that anyone has developed a xenograft model in which disease progression correlates with what happens in the patient,” said Dr. Morrison, senior author of the investigation and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Morrison continued, “The highly immune-compromised state of the mice makes it possible to observe the metastasis of human melanomas, and to study intrinsic differences among melanomas in their metastatic potential.”

Previous studies of cancer metastasis were limited by a lack of workable models in which scientists could study the progression of a patient’s cancer cells in laboratory animals in a way that correlated with clinical outcomes, he said.

But such correlation was clear in this study by the research institute, an innovative collaboration that melds the leading clinical resources of Children’s Medical Center with the outstanding research resources of UT Southwestern.

Melanomas that spread slowly and could not be detected in the blood of mice did not form distant tumors within 22 months in patients.

Melanomas that spread rapidly in mice did form distant tumors in patients within the same time frame, giving rise to circulating melanoma cells in the blood of the mice. This finding suggests that entry of melanoma cells into the blood is a step that limits the rate of distant metastasis.

“Ultimately we want to identify new drug targets,” Dr. Morrison said. “There are promising ideas coming out of this work that we hope will lead to clinical trials in melanoma.”

The research arose from the Morrison laboratory’s innovative techniques for studying neural crest stem cells - work that was recognized in 2004 with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Neural crest stem cells make melanocytes, a type of cell that can mutate into melanoma if exposed, for example, to excessive sunlight.

The Children’s Research Institute focuses on the interface of stem cell biology, cancer, and metabolism and will eventually include approximately 150 scientists in 15 laboratories.

The work of Dr. Morrison, who also leads the Hamon Laboratory for Stem Cell and Cancer Biology, focuses on adult stem cell biology and cancers of the blood, nervous system, and skin.

“We’re trying to do transformational science that not only changes scientific fields, but also creates new strategies for treating diseases,” Dr. Morrison said. “The goal is for our work to have a direct impact on the patient.”

Other UTSW researchers involved in the study were Drs. Elena Piskounova and Ugur Eskiocak, both postdoctoral researchers in the Children’s Research Institute. This work originated with lead author Dr. Elsa Quintana and Dr. Mark Shackleton in Dr. Morrison’s former lab at the University of Michigan.

Other key collaborators from the University of Michigan were Dr. Douglas R. Fullen, director of dermatopathology, and Dr. Timothy Johnson, director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic.

“This animal model offers unprecedented opportunities for discovery efforts that could be translated into patient care,” Dr. Johnson said. “Dr. Morrison and I share a core mission to effectively treat melanoma, and that shared belief is the basis of the past, present, and future collaboration between UT Southwestern and the University of Michigan.”

Research support came from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Allen H. Blondy Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan, and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.


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 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ 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

Enzyme Link Between Excessive Heart Muscle Growth, Cancer Growth
Researchers at UTSW have found that the drugs currently used to inhibit these enzymes in cancer may also be effective in treating enlargement of the heart muscle.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Treatment of Common Prostate Cancer
Researchers at UTSW have found that the prostate cancer treatments suppress immune response and may promote relapse.
Friday, April 08, 2016
A Metabolic Twist that Drives Cancer Survival
A novel metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells has been identified.
Friday, April 08, 2016
Novel Metabolic Twist that Drives Cancer Survival
Researchers at CRI at UT Southwestern have identified a novel metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Structure of Crucial Enzyme Identified
Researchers at UTSW have determined the atomic structure of an enzyme that plays an essential role in cell division and better treatment of cancer.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Promoting Liver Tissue Regeneration
Researchers at CRI have reported that inactivating a certain protein-coding gene promotes liver tissue regeneration in mammals.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Researchers Find New Cytoplasmic Role
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found new cytoplasmic role for proteins linked to neurological diseases, cancers.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Researchers’ Work Shines LIGHT on how to Improve Cancer Immunotherapy
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have reported a strategy to make a major advancement in cancer treatment.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
CRI Develops Innovative Approach for Identifying Lung Cancer
Institute has developed innovative approach for identifying processes that fuel tumor growth in lung cancer patients.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
UT Southwestern Scientists Synthesize Nanoparticles
Synthetic nanoparticles to deliver tumor-suppressing therapies to damaged livers.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Tumor-suppressing Gene Works by Restraining Mobile Genetic Elements
Findings from the study leads to new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
UTSW Researchers Identifies How Drugs Alter Pancreatic Cancer Cells
The findings were published in Cell Reports.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Researchers Find a Small Protein that Plays a Big Role in Heart Muscle Contraction
New protein, DWORF, stimulates a calcium-ion pump that controls muscle contraction.
Friday, January 15, 2016
UT Southwestern Scientists Discover a New Role for RNA
Safeguarding chromosome number in human cells, with implications for cancer biology.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
UT Southwestern Scientist Honored as Rising Star in Texas Research
Dr. Joshua Mendell selected as the recipient of the 2016 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Scientific News
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
Potential “Good Fat” Biomarker
New method to measure the activity of energy consuming brown fat cells could ease the testing weight loss drugs.
Shape Of Tumor May Affect Whether Cells Can Metastasize
Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread.
MicroRNA Pathway Could Lead to New Avenues for Leukemia Treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a particular signaling route in microRNA (miR-22) that could lead to targets for acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Analysis of Dog Genome will Provide Insight into Human Disease
An important model in studying human disease, the non-coding RNA of the canine genome is an essential starting point for evolutionary and biomedical studies – according to a new study led by The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC).
New Blood Test for The Earlier Diagnosis of Breast Cancer Spread
Researchers at University of Westminster have confirmed that a new blood test can detect if breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
First Gene Therapy Successful Against Human Aging
American woman gets biologically younger after gene therapies.
Targeting an ‘Undruggable’ Cancer Gene
RAS genes are mutated in more than 30 percent of human cancers and represent one of the most sought-after cancer targets for drug developers.
Altered Metabolism of Four Compounds Drives Glioblastoma Growth
Findings suggest new ways to treat the malignancy, slow its progression and reveal its extent more precisely.
Improving Engineered T-Cell Cancer Treatment
Purdue University researchers may have figured out a way to call off a cancer cell assassin that sometimes goes rogue and assign it a larger tumor-specific "hit list."
SELECTBIO

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
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!