Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Singapore Scientists Identify New Biomarker for Cancer in Bone Marrow

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012
Bookmark and Share
This discovery may potentially cure patients of multiple myeloma.

Singapore scientists have identified FAIM, a molecule that typically prevents cell death, as a potential biomarker to identify an incurable form of cancer in the bone marrow.

Patients with this form of cancer usually do not get cured with current standard treatments such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, with an average survival of only about four years.

FAIM could thus be a therapeutic target in these patients, as drugs developed to target the molecule could destroy multiple myeloma cells and hence eradicate the cancer.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of blood cells, which arises due to an uncontrollable accumulation of antibody-producing plasma cells in the bone marrow.

In Singapore, about 80 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed every year. Unfortunately, most people who develop multiple myeloma have no clearly identifiable risk factors for the disease but factors such as individuals older than 50 years of age, men and obesity, may predispose one to the cancer.

The scientists discovered that a protein called Fas apoptosis inhibitory molecule (FAIM) can affect the activation of Akt, an important enzyme required for cancer cell proliferation.

By silencing the expression of FAIM, the team showed that the myeloma cells could be destroyed. It was also found that this protein was present at higher levels in the plasma cells of these patients as compared to normal individuals, and that higher levels of FAIM correlated to poorer survival outcomes of patients.

This is an important breakthrough as it not only identifies FAIM as a useful biomarker of multiple myeloma patients, but also as a good target that drugs can be developed for, in order to get rid of the cancer cells.

This collaborative research was conducted by scientists at A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) led by Prof Lam Kong-Peng, along with clinician-scientists at National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore. The research findings were published in Leukemia on 5 December 2012.

Prof Lam said, "This study adds onto previous studies in the institute demonstrating the utility of FAIM not only in biotechnology but now potentially in the clinic. It is a prime example of how a better understanding of FAIM protein function enables us to first use it to increase yield in biologics manufacturing, and now as a potential prognostic biomarker in the clinic for a deadly human disease such as multiple myeloma. This is really a translation from bench-to-bioreactor and bench-to-bedside."

"Treatment failure due to drug resistance is an important reason why patients with multiple myeloma have a poor outcome. In this study, we identified FAIM as a new biomarker that is associated with poor outcome as well as an important mediator of growth signals in myeloma cells that could lead to drug resistance. The detection of this biomarker will allow us to identify these high risk patients and possibly develop treatments that target FAIM to improve their outcome. This study also underlines the potential for collaborative work between A*STAR research institutes (BTI), CSI Singapore and the National University Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS) to perform research that may have significant impact on patients," said Associate Professor Chng Wee Joo, who is Senior Consultant Haematologist at the Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS and Senior Principal Investigator at CSI.


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 3,800+ 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

Rapid Test Kit Detects Dengue Antibodies from Saliva
IBN’s MedTech innovation simplifies diagnosis of infectious diseases.
Friday, January 30, 2015
A*STAR Scientists Discover Gene Critical for Proper Brain Development
This gene accounts for the size of the human brain and potentially our superior cognitive abilities.
Friday, December 26, 2014
A Gold Catalyst for Clear Water
Mixed nanoparticle systems may help purify water and generate hydrogen.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Anti-Diabetic Drug Springs New Hope for Tuberculosis Patients
Drug for treating diabetes can double up as adjunct treatment for tuberculosis.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Gene Associated with an Aggressive Breast Cancer Identified
Over-expressed gene in triple negative breast cancer offers new diagnostics for risk assessment.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Diagnostics Development Hub To Complement Biomed Research Launched
Hub will leverage strategic public-public and public-private partnerships to accelerate market readiness of locally developed diagnostic products.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Protecting the Body from Itself
Scientists advance understanding of autoimmunity with discovery of link between major immune cell types.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Colorful Nanoprobes Make A Simple Test
Gold nanoparticles linked to single-stranded DNA create a simple but versatile genetic testing kit.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Lab on a Breathing Chip
Human nasal epithelial cells, cultured on a microchip, react to air pollutants just like they would in the upper airway.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Understanding and Improving the Body's Fight Against Pathogens
A*STAR scientists find new targets for modulating antibody response.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Novel Gene Predicts Both Breast Cancer Relapse and Response to Chemotherapy
A predictive marker discovered by scientists at A*STAR and NUS could help doctors classify breast cancer patients for more effective treatment.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
High Capacity Antibody Purification
Researchers from the A*Star Bioprocessing Technology Institute have used magnetic nanoparticles to break the capacity barrier for antibody purification.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
New Tool to Study Critical Protein Interaction in Cancer Research
A*STAR scientists used fluorescent molecular rotors to study protein-protein interactions involving p53 and MDM2 in cells.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Missing Protein Explains Link Between Obesity and Diabetes
A*STAR scientists pioneered a molecular connection between the two health conditions.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
New Possibilities for Leukaemia Therapy with a Novel Mode of Cancer Cell Recognition
A new class of lipids in human leukaemia cells trigger an immune response to kill the cells.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Scientific News
NIH Study Finds Calorie Restriction Lowers Some Risk Factors for Age-Related Diseases
Two-year trial did not produce expected metabolic changes, but influenced other life span markers.
Immunotherapy Agent Benefits Patients with Drug-Resistant Multiple Myeloma in First Human Trial
Daratumumab proved generally safe in patients, even at the highest doses.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Inciting an Immune Attack On Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
‘Mutation-Tracking’ Blood Test for Breast Cancer
Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumours are visible on hospital scans.
Cellular Contamination Pathway for Heavy Elements Identified
Berkeley Lab scientists find that an iron-binding protein can transport actinides into cells.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Common ‘Heart Attack’ Blood Test May Predict Future Hypertension
Small rises in troponin levels may have value as markers for subclinical heart damage and high blood pressure.
LaVision BioTec Reports on the Neuro Research on the Human Brain After Trauma
Company reports on the work of Dr Ali Ertürk from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich.
NIH Study Shows No Benefit of Omega-3 Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!