Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ 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

New Mechanism of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a new way that tuberculosis bacteria get into the body, revealing a potential therapeutic angle to explore.
Friday, July 22, 2016
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer.
Friday, July 22, 2016
New Mechanism of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers have identified a new infection mechanism of tuberculosis that could lead to a new therapeutic angle.
Friday, July 22, 2016
New Method Detects Telomere Length for Research into Cancer, Aging
UT Southwestern Medical Center cell biologists have identified a new method for determining the length of telomeres, the endcaps of chromosomes, which can influence cancer progression and aging.
Friday, July 01, 2016
3-D Atomic Structure of Cholesterol Transporter
Researchers at UTSW have determined the 3-D atomic structure of a human sterol transporter that helps maintain cholesterol balance.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
New $17 Million Cryo-Electron Microscope Center Provides Extraordinary Views
Institute has announced opening of a new $17 million cryo-EM facility housing a unique collection of instruments that researchers can use to view 3-D images of objects.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
New Autism Blood Biomarker Identified
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a blood biomarker that may aid in earlier diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
Friday, May 06, 2016
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
Mutation That Causes Rare Disease
A mutation has been discovered that causes a rare systemic disorder known as XLPDR and confirmed a role for nucleic acids in immune function.
Tuesday, March 29, 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
Lupus Study Shows Precision Medicine’s Potential to Define the Genetics of Autoimmune Disease
Researchers at UT Southwestern have used next-generation DNA sequencing technology to identify more than 1,000 gene variants that affect susceptibility to SLE.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Scientific News
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Raw Eggs Deemed Safe to Eat
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Monitoring TTX Toxin in Shellfish
In a number of small studies, mussels and oysters from the eastern and northern part of the Oosterschelde in Holland were found to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX).
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Antibody Drug Shows Promise in HIV Treatment
Researchers are a step closer to an alternative HIV treatment that has the potential for lasting effects and less frequent dosing.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!