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

New Hope for Setback-dogged Cancer Treatment

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet announce breakthrough in the study of how IGF-1 receptor-binding antibodies can help those with cancer.

Several drugs companies have ineffectively tried to produce antibodies that bind to the IGF-1 receptor on the cell surface, which has a critical part to play in the development of cancer. Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now ascertained how these antibodies work, and can explain why only some cancer patients are helped by IGF-1 blockers during clinical tests. The researchers also present a means by which drugs of this kind could help more cancer patients.

Every cell contains thousands of tiny receptors that help it communicate with other cells. These receptors are involved in countless physiological processes, such as taste and smell perception and heart rate. A couple of dozen of these receptors form their own family - the kinase receptors (RTKs), which are implicated in cancer. The so-called IGF-1 receptor is particularly important for cancer cell survival, and as soon as this receptor encounters the right hormone (type 1 insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-1) into the cancer cell open a number of communication channels, helping it to grow, rapidly divide and protect itself against treatment.

Blocking this receptor with an antibody that binds to it and makes it inaccessible to IGF-1 has long been regarded as the key to a potential cancer therapy, the idea being that it will eventually lead to the death of the tumour cell. Several drugs companies have therefore been developing such antibodies in order to treat the most aggressive forms of cancer, and after some promising laboratory tests, have tested a number of these preparations on patients. However, the drugs have generally given disappointing results and helped only a small minority of patients (including children with Ewing's sarcoma), leading some companies to discontinue clinical trials focusing on the IGF-1 receptor.

The Karolinska Institutet team has now systematically analysed the different IGF-1-related triggered communication channels within a cancer cell. Their results show that the original idea is correct and that such antibody treatment does actually stop the channels from opening, with one very important exception: the MEK channel was actually powerfully stimulated by the treatment - the antibodies being as effective in this as the hormone itself - and actively helped the cancer cells to survive.

"This gives us a credible explanation why the antibody trials for the IGF-1 receptor weren't as effective as had been hoped," says principal investigator Dr Leonard Girnita, docent of pathology at Karolinska Institutet s Department of Oncology-Pathology. "So it's too early to give up on the idea of treating cancer like this   it's still a very good way of attacking the cancer, provided we can close this final communication channel. If we can do this, antibodies for the IGF-1 receptor are likely to form an effective treatment not only for Ewing's sarcoma in children but many other cancers as well."

Drugs that are used to close this channel in other forms of treatments are already available. The researchers believe that a combination therapy using such MEK inhibitors with IGF-1 blockers can be the key to releasing the potential of this therapy model.

"We've seen in the laboratory that cell lines treated in this way no longer manage to divide," says Dr Girnita. "When they die of old age there is no regrowth, so we ve seen in the laboratory environment how cancer cells die out of their own accord."

The study was financed with grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, the Swedish Research Council, the Children's Cancer Foundation, the Crown Princess Margareta Fund for the Visually Impaired, the Welander/Finsen foundations, the King Gustaf V Jubilee Fund, Vinnova (The Swedish governmental agency for innovation systems), the Cancer Research Funds of Radiumhemmet, Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet.


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 2,500+ 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

Technological Breakthrough Paves the Way for Better Drugs
Researchers have developed the first method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Scientific News
Promising Class of New Cancer Drugs Cause Memory Loss in Mice
New findings from The Rockefeller University suggest that the original version of BET inhibitors causes molecular changes in mouse neurons, and can lead to memory loss in mice that receive it.
Electrical Control of Cancer Cells
Research led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has revealed a new electrical mechanism that can control these switches.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Inflammation Linked to Colon Cancer Metastasis
A new Arizona State University research study led by Biodesign Institute executive director Raymond DuBois has identified for the first time the details of how inflammation triggers colon cancer cells to spread to other organs, or metastasize.
Structural Discoveries Could Aid in Better Drug Design
Scientists have uncovered the structural details of how some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated output.
Determining the Age of Fingerprints
Watch the imprint of a tire track in soft mud, and it will slowly blur, the ridges of the pattern gradually flowing into the valleys. Researchers have tested the theory that a similar effect could be used to give forensic scientists a way to date fingerprints.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Tissue Bank Pays Dividends for Brain Cancer Research
Checking what’s in the bank – the Brisbane Breast Bank, that is – has paid dividends for UQ cancer researchers.
Researchers Publish Landmark “Basket Study”
Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have announced results from the first published basket study, a new form of clinical trial design that explores responses to drugs based on the specific mutations in patients’ tumors rather than where their cancer originated.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!