Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
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

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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ 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

Protein Structures Assemble and Disassemble On Command
Gene sequences may enable control of building bio-structures.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Molecular Tinkering Doubles Cancer Drug’s Efficacy
Researchers have packaged a widely used cancer drug into nanoparticles, more than doubling its effectiveness at destroying tumors.
Thursday, August 06, 2015
Outsmarting HIV With Vaccine Antigens Made to Order
AIDS vaccine researchers may be one step closer to outwitting HIV, thanks to designer antibodies and antigens made to order at Duke University.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
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
Slow-Release "Jelly" Novel Drug Deliverer
Biomedical engineers have developed a novel method to overcome the major hurdles facing a promising new class of peptide drugs to treat diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Scientific News
Retractable Protein Nanoneedles
The ability to control the transfer of molecules through cellular membranes is an important function in synthetic biology; a new study from researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) introduces a novel mechanical method for controlling release of molecules inside cells.
Advancing Synthetic Biology
Living systems rely on a dizzying variety of chemical reactions essential to development and survival. Most of these involve a specialized class of protein molecules — the enzymes.
NIH Researchers Identify Striking Genomic Signature for Cancer
Institute has identified striking signature shared by five types of cancer.
CRI Develops Innovative Approach for Identifying Lung Cancer
Institute has developed innovative approach for identifying processes that fuel tumor growth in lung cancer patients.
Counting Cancer-busting Oxygen Molecules
Researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), an Australian Research Centre of Excellence, have shown that nanoparticles used in combination with X-rays, are a viable method for killing cancer cells deep within the living body.
Crowdfunding the Fight Against Cancer
From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer?
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Future of Medicine Could be Found in a Tiny Crystal Ball
A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to grow a crystal ball in a lab. Not the kind that soothsayers use to predict the future, but a microscopic version that could be used to encapsulate medication in a way that would allow it to deliver its curative payload more effectively inside the body.
SELECTBIO

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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!