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

A*STAR Scientists Discover Potential Drug for Deadly Brain Cancer

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
This discovery can potentially prevent the progression and relapse of deadly brain tumours.

A*STAR scientists have identified a biomarker of the most lethal form of brain tumours in adults - glioblastoma multiforme.

The scientists found that by targeting this biomarker and depleting it with a potential drug, they were able to prevent the progression and relapse of the brain tumour.

This research was conducted by scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology led by Dr Prabha Sampath, Principal Investigator, in collaboration with A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute (BII), and clinical collaborators from Medical University of Graz, Austria, and National University of Singapore.

The research findings were published on Aug 23 in the scientific journal, Cell Reports from Cell Press.

The scientists found that the biomarker, miR-138, is highly expressed in cancer stem cells compared to normal neural stem cells. They thus carried out in vitro experiments to deplete miR-138 in these cancer stem cells with a potential drug, antimiR-138, to observe the effect.

They found that when miR-138 is depleted, the cancer cells are completely destroyed. This is an important breakthrough as current therapies such as gamma radiation and surgical methods proved to be inadequate in treating these brain tumours, which tend to re-grow from cancer stem cells and become extremely lethal.

Dr Sampath said, "In this study we have identified a master regulator, miR-138, which is essential for the progression and relapse of a deadly form of brain cancer. By targeting this regulator we can effectively prevent the recurrence of this lethal form of cancer. This promising finding will pave the way for the development of a novel therapy to successfully treat the aggressive forms of brain cancer."

Studies were also done in mice to determine whether antimiR-138 could effectively inhibit the growth of tumours. These experiments were conducted with a control drug as well, revealing that tumours continued to be present when mice were injected with the control, while injection with the antimiR-138 showed no tumour growth after nine months.

Dr Alan Colman, Executive Director of Singapore Stem Cell Consortium and a Principal Investigator at IMB said, "Malignant gliomas are a particularly devastating and lethal form of human brain cancer. As with a growing number of other cancers, evidence is accumulating that the persistence and chemo-resistance of this cancer is due to the presence of glioma stem cells (GSCs). In this exciting publication, Sampath and colleagues indicate that in the tumours, these GSCs express the microRNA-138 (miR-138) and that the targeted elimination of this RNA markedly reduced the growth and survival of GSCs in cell culture. This work highlights the possible significance of miR-138 as a prognostic biomarker and also suggests miR-138 synthesis as a target for therapeutic intervention."

Prof Sir David Lane, Chief Scientist at A*STAR, added, "These findings will facilitate the translation of basic research into clinical applications such as targeted drug design to treat brain cancer. This is an excellent example of how A*STAR's impactful research can be applied to develop treatments for diseases like cancer."

Dr Sampath was a recipient of the A*STAR Investigatorship Award in 2007, a prestigious research award designed to attract the most promising young researchers from around the world to do independent research at A*STAR.

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 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,100+ 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 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

Advancing the Understanding and Research of Botulinum Neurotoxin Biology
Ipsen and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) announce the signature of a research partnership to study the intracellular trafficking of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) within neurons.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Singapore Scientists Identify New Biomarker for Cancer in Bone Marrow
This discovery may potentially cure patients of multiple myeloma.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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
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
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
Targeting Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors in the CNS
With endogenous cannabinoids considered as a potential target to combat CNS diseases, this article examines the role of CB2R could play in fighting some disorders.
Bacterial Genes Boost Current in Human Cells
Borrowing and tweaking bacterial genes to enhance electrical activity might treat heart, nervous system injury.
Less Frequent Cervical Cancer Screening
HPV-vaccinated women may only need one screening every 5 to 10 years with screening starting later in life.
Cocoa Compound Linked to Some Cardiovascular Biomarker Improvements
The study highlights the urgent need for large, long-term RCTs that improve understanding of how the short-term benefits of cocoa flavanol intake on cardiometabolic biomarkers may be translated into clinical outcomes.
Untangling a Cause of Memory Loss in Neurodegenerative Diseases
The mouse study identifies a possible therapeutic target for a family of disorders.
New Pathway for COPD Biomarker Development
A study from Philip Morris International has highlighted multi-lipid profiling as a potential new pathway for COPD biomarker development.
Stiffening a Blow to Cancer Cells
Researchers develop a way to predict how a tumor tissue's physical properties affect its response to chemotherapy drugs.
Anti-Cancer Drug Uses Tumour mRNA to Identify Responders
Phase I study of novel anti-cancer drug uses tumour mRNA expression to identify patients who will respond to the drug.
New Strategy for Choosing Cancer Drugs
Device can predict tumor responses by measuring cell growth after drug exposure.
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
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,100+ scientific videos