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

Study Identifies Potential Therapeutic Target for Incurable, Rare Type of Soft-Tissue Cancer

Published: Friday, December 27, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
UT Southwestern scientists study published online in Cell Reports.

A deadly, rare type of soft-tissue cancer may be completely eradicated simply by inhibiting a key protein involved in its growth, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

In the study, published online in Cell Reports, scientists found that inhibiting the action of a protein called BRD4 caused cancer cells to die in a mouse model of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs).

“This study identifies a potential new therapeutic target to combat MPNST, an incurable type of cancer that is typically fatal,” said Dr. Lu Le, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study. “The findings also provide important insight into what causes these tumors to develop.”

MPNSTs are highly aggressive sarcomas that form around nerves. These tumors can develop sporadically, but about half of cases are in patients with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) that affects 1 in 3,500 people. About 10 percent of NF1 patients will develop MPNST, which usually evolves from a benign but often large and disfiguring tumor called a plexiform neurofibroma.

Up to now, the preferred treatment for MPNST has been surgical removal, but that oftentimes is difficult or impossible due to the tumor’s location around nerves. Radiation and chemotherapy are other options, but their effectiveness is limited. The five-year survival rate for MPNST patients is about 50 percent.

By studying changes in cells as they evolved into cancerous MPNSTs, researchers in Dr. Le’s laboratory were able to determine that BRD4, a bromodomain protein that binds to DNA to regulate gene activation, is expressed at an unusually high level in MPNST cancer cells.

This action caused another protein called BCL-2 to keep cancer cells from dying. Alternately, when researchers inhibited BRD4 either genetically in the mice or pharmacologically by administering a compound called JQ1, the tumors shrank.

“These treatments suppressed tumor growth and caused the cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, or cell death. This is why BRD4 inhibition is exquisitely effective against MPNSTs and may represent a paradigm shift in therapy for these patients,” Dr. Le said.

The same class of drug used in the experiments is currently being evaluated in phase 1 and 2 trials for treatment of leukemia and a subtype of lung cancer. Meanwhile, UT Southwestern is working with a pharmaceutical company to develop a similar BRD4-inhibiting drug to launch a clinical trial for MPNST patients.

New drugs are desperately needed to treat MPNST and provide hope to NF1 patients at highest risk for this cancer, said Dr. Le, who also serves as Co-director of UT Southwestern’s Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Clinic. The clinic offers neurofibromatosis patients access to the latest clinical trials and treatments.

Co-directed by Dr. Laura Klesse, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, the clinic is part of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and serves patients with all three types of hereditary neurofibromatosis, including the dominant NF1 type and rarer NF2 and Schwannomatosis forms.


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 4,800+ 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

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 and that, when deleted in the lungs of mice, prevents the cancer from forming.
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
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.
Core-Shell Columns in HPLC: Food Analysis Applications
Explore the most recent applications of core-shell columns in food analysis.
Review of the Analysis of Haemoglobin A1c for Diabetes Diagnostics
This paper aims to clarify methods, units, quality requirements, reference and cutoff limits for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and ratio of blood glucose/HbA1c on the basis of the results from Finnish quality control surveys by comparing them to the literature.
Colon Cancer Blocked in Mice
Case Western Reserve University Researchers block common type of colon cancer tumour in mice, laying groundwork for human clinical trial.
New Centre Offers Ultra-Speed Protein Analysis
UW-Madison researchers to establish development centre for next-gen protein measurement technologies.
Disrupting Tumour-Promotion in Humans
Researchers have modified an existing protein to represses a specific cancer-promoting ‘message’ within cells.
Protein Nanocages Could Improve Drug Design and Delivery
HHMI scientists have designed and built 10 large protein icosahedra that are similar to viral capsids that carry viral DNA.
Vaccine Strategy Targets Multiple Influenza Viruses
Scientists have identified vaccine-induced antibodies that can neutralize strains of influenza virus that infect humans.
Connectome Map More Than Doubles Human Cortex’s Known Regions
Researchers at NIH have developed software that automatically detects the “fingerprint” of each of these areas in an individual’s brain scans.
Discovered Through ‘Big Data’ Analysis
Researchers at the SBP have identified over 100 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer.
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
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!