Key growth factor identified in T cell leukemia

Blocking a growth factor receptor cripples cancer growth in a form of T cell leukemia, according to a study published online on August 1 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Approximately half of the cases of T cell (T-ALL) carry in a cellular signaling pathway called Notch, which result in aberrant activation of the cell. A study by Andrew Weng and colleagues at the British Columbia Cancer Agency now shows that activation of the Notch pathway promotes the expression of a receptor for insulin growth factor (IGF-1), which drives the growth and survival of the cancer cells.

Cancer cells with an activated Notch pathway but lacking the IGF-1 receptor had reduced growth in mice, and blocking the receptor with drugs improved their survival. Simply reducing the amount of receptor resulted in the loss of cancer stem cells—the cells responsible for originating and perpetuating the disease. Human T-ALL cells were also found to express IGF-1 receptor, suggesting that blocking the receptor in combination with standard treatment may reduce the risk of disease relapse.

More information: Medyouf, H., et al. 2011. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20110121

Provided by Rockefeller University Press

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New molecular therapy candidates for pancreatic cancer

Apr 19, 2010

A research team from Japan investigated expression of insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) in pancreatic cancer cell lines. All the cell lines examined expressed IGF-IR under culture conditions without IGF-I in ...

Growth factor predicts poor outcome in breast cancer

Aug 29, 2008

The response to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) in breast cancer cells predicts an aggressive tumor that is less likely to respond to treatment, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears ...

Recommended for you

US OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear (Update 2)

10 hours ago

U.S. government health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer. It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women's health.

New breast cancer imaging method promising

15 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

16 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

User comments