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

Scientists Identify Link Between Stem Cell Regulation and the Development of Lung Cancer

Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Study explains how factors that regulate the growth of adult stem cells lead to the formation of precancerous lesions.

UCLA researchers led by Dr. Brigitte Gomperts have discovered the inner workings of the process thought to be the first stage in the development of lung cancer. Their study explains how factors that regulate the growth of adult stem cells that repair tissue in the lungs can lead to the formation of precancerous lesions.

Findings from the three-year study could eventually lead to new personalized treatments for lung cancer, which is responsible for an estimated 29 percent of U.S. cancer deaths, making it the deadliest form of the disease.

The study was published online June 19 in the journal Stem Cell. Gomperts, a member of the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, collaborated with Manash Paul and Bharti Bisht, postdoctoral scholars and co-lead authors of the study.

Adult stem cells in lung airways are present specifically to repair the airways after injury or disease caused by smoking, pollution, viruses or other factors. Gomperts and her team found that this reparative process is tightly regulated by molecules called reactive oxygen species, or ROS.

Recent research has shown that low levels of ROS are important for signaling the stem cells to perform important functions - such as repairing tissue damage - while high levels of ROS can cause stem cells to die. But the level of ROS needed for repair to be initiated has remained a subject of debate among researchers.

The UCLA study found that the dynamic flux of ROS from low to moderate levels in the airway stem cells is what drives the repair process, and that the increase in ROS levels in the repairing cell is quickly reduced to low levels to prevent excessive cell proliferation.

Gomperts' lab found that disrupting this normal regulation of ROS back to low levels is equivalent to pulling the brakes off of the stem cells: They will continue to make too many of themselves, which causes the cells not to mature and instead become precancerous lesions. Subsequent progressive genetic changes to the cells in these lesions over time can eventually allow cancerous tumors to form.

"Low ROS is what keeps stem cells primed so that your body is poised and ready to respond to injury and repair," said Gomperts, who also is an associate professor in the department of pediatrics at UCLA. "Loss of this ROS regulation leads to precancerous lesions. Now, with this precancerous model in place, we can begin looking for what we call 'driver mutations,' or those specific changes that take the precancerous lesions to full-blown cancer."

Gomperts said that because many different factors - including cigarette smoke, smog and inflammation - could potentially trigger an increase in ROS in the airway stem cells, researchers might eventually be able to customize treatments based on the cause. "There are likely multiple ways for a person to get to a precancerous lesion, so the process could be different among different groups of people. Imagine a personalized way to identify what pathways have gone wrong in a patient, so that we could target a therapy to that individual."

The research's ultimate goal is to develop a targeted strategy to prevent pre-malignant lesions from forming by targeting the biology of these lesions and therefore preventing lung cancer from developing.

"Our study is important because it sheds light on how lung cancer can form, and this will hopefully lead to new therapies for this terrible disease," Paul said.

The UCLA study also is noteworthy for finally identifying specifically how ROS affects the proliferation of stem cells.


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

Study Finds Link Between Neural Stem Cell Overgrowth and Autism-like Behavior in Mice
UCLA researchers demonstrates how, in pregnant mice, inflammation can trigger an excessive division of neural stem cells.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
UCLA Awarded $7 Million to Unravel Mystery Genetic Diseases
UCLA tackle difficult-to-solve medical cases and develop ways to diagnose rare genetic disorders.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease Advances Toward Clinical Trials
Gene therapy technique is scheduled to begin clinical trials by early 2014.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Rigid Growth Matrix: A Key to Success of Cardiac Tissue Engineering
UCLA team found that rigid matrices promotes the generation of more cardiomyocytes cells from ES cells.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Cells Derived from Pluripotent Stem Cells may Pose Challenges for Clinical Use
UCLA researchers have found that three types of cells derived from hES cells and from iPS cells are similar to each other.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
UCLA Scientists Find Molecular Switch to Prevent Huntington's Disease in Mice
Finding suggests new approach for treating devastating disorder.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
UCLA Scientists Develop 'Crystal Ball' for Personalized Cancer Treatment
New tool predicts how a chemotherapy drug will work on individual tumors to pinpoint the effective treatment.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Scientists Reprogram Induced Pluripotent Cells into Precursors of Eggs, Sperm
The findings from UCLA researchers can possibly open the door for new treatments for infertility using patient-specific cells.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Scientists at UCLA Reprogram Human Skin Cells into Embryonic Stem Cells
UCLA stem cell scientists have reprogrammed human skin cells into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells, without using embryos or eggs.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Using Nanotechnology, UCLA Researchers Discover that Cancer Cells "Feel" Much Softer than Normal Cells
UCLA scientists have differentiated metastatic cancer cells from normal cells in patient samples using nanotechnology that measures the softness of the cells.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
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!