Stem-cell-protecting drug could prevent the harmful side effects of radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is one of the most widely used cancer treatments, but it often damages normal tissue and can lead to debilitating conditions. A class of drugs known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors can prevent radiation-induced tissue damage in mice by protecting normal stem cells that are crucial for tissue repair, according to a preclinical study published by Cell Press in the September issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.
"We can exploit the emerging findings for the development of new preventive strategies and more effective treatment options for patients suffering this devastating disease," says senior study author J. Silvio Gutkind of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
In response to radiation therapy, cancer patients often develop a painful condition called mucositis—tissue swelling in the mouth that can leave these patients unable to eat or drink and force them to rely on opioid-strength pain killers. Radiation therapy may cause this debilitating condition by depleting normal stem cells capable of repairing damaged tissue.
In the new study, Gutkind and his team found that the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin protects stem cells taken from the mouths of healthy individuals (but not cancer cells) from radiation-induced death and DNA damage, dramatically extending the lifespan of these normal stem cells and allowing them to grow. Rapamycin exerted these protective effects by preventing the accumulation of harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species. Moreover, mice that received rapamycin during radiation treatment did not develop mucositis.
Because rapamycin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is currently being tested in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer, the new findings could have immediate and important implications for a large proportion of cancer patients. "Mucositis prevention would have a remarkable impact on the quality of life and recovery of cancer patients and at the same time would reduce the cost of treatment," Gutkind says. "Our study provides the basis for further testing in humans, and we hope that these findings can be translated rapidly into the clinic."
More information: Iglesias-Bartolome et al.: "mTOR inhibition prevents epithelial stem cell senescence and protects from radiation-induced mucositis." DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2012.06.007
Finkel et al.: "Relief with Rapamycin: mTOR Inhibition Protects against Radiation-Induced Mucositis"(In Translation Article)
Journal reference: Cell Stem Cell
Provided by Cell Press
- Metformin may lower risk for oral cancer development Apr 02, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Cancer Stem Cells Linked to Radiation Resistance Oct 18, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Radiation treatment transforms breast cancer cells into cancer stem cells Feb 13, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer Jul 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Stem Cell Research Made Safer with Latest Discovery May 15, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Older prostate cancer patients with other underlying health conditions should think twice before committing to surgery or radiation therapy for their cancer, according to a multicenter study led by researchers in the UCLA ...
Cancer 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy has become the most commonly used type of radiation in prostate cancer, but research from the University of North Carolina suggests that the therapy may not be more effective than older, ...
Cancer 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
Cancer 15 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (12) | 2 |
(HealthDay)—For young adults needing either a chest or abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT), the short-term risk of death from underlying morbidity is greater than the long-term risk of radiation-induced ...
Cancer 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
In a new study described in the journal Oncogene, researchers reveal how a key player in cell growth, immunity and the inflammatory response can be transformed into a primary contributor to tumor growth.
Cancer 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Cardiologists have identified a trio of biomarkers that may predict which patients with heart disease have a high risk of heart attack or death in the next two years.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Each day, an average of nine people are killed in the United States and more than 1,000 injured by drivers doing something other than driving.
29 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—We spend about a third of our life asleep, but why we need to do so remains a mystery. In a recent publication, researchers at University of Surrey and University College London suggest a new hypothesis, ...
24 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—International researchers are studying the salt intake of Indian adults to provide vital new data to aid the development of a national salt reduction strategy.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Exposure to sunshine as a small child is crucial to the development of a healthy eye according to results of long-term myopia study conducted by University of Sydney researchers.
4 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0