Discovering the secrets of tumor growth

January 24, 2013

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen's Center for Healthy Ageing have identified a compound that blocks the expression of a protein without which certain tumours cannot grow. This compound has the potential as an anticancer agent according to the research published in the journal Chemistry and Biology this week.

The BLM protein is also known to be important in maintaining stability in cells when they multiply, thus preventing cancer. However, certain types of need BLM to grow. This is typical of osteosarcomas - aggressive malignant tumours often seen in – and also soft tissue sarcomas.

Now for the first time scientists have been able to turn off the BLM function in cells using an inhibitor called ML216, which stops cells that express BLM from multiplying, leaving cells without BLM alone.

Tumour treatment one step closer

Professor Ian D. Hickson, who led the research says: "Sarcomas and especially osteosarcomas are notoriously difficult to treat. This compound has the potential to lead to a treatment that could stop such tumours growing."

Professor Hickson's team is now working on finding derivatives of the compound that will be more potent and suitable to use as a basis for a drug.

"Once we have the compound in the right form, the next step is to test it using mice as a model and then, all being well, to move on to a clinical trial. However, we are several years off having an actual treatment." He says.

Explore further: Blocking beta1-integrin to treat cancer

Related Stories

Blocking beta1-integrin to treat cancer

June 6, 2007

Targeting the function of a protein known as beta1-integrin might represent a novel approach to cancer treatment, according to a paper published online in The EMBO Journal this week. Blocking the action of this protein could ...

Bloome syndrome protein is critical for meiotic recombination

March 22, 2010

Researchers from Cornell University (NY) provide the first analysis of the function of Bloome syndrome protein (BLM) in mammalian meiosis. Bloome syndrome (BS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by stunted growth, cancer ...

Mushroom compound suppresses prostate tumors

May 23, 2011

A mushroom used in Asia for its medicinal benefits has been found to be 100 per cent effective in suppressing prostate tumour development in mice during early trials, new Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research ...

New treatment option for advanced prostate cancer

August 12, 2011

A successful interdisciplinary project is underway between two research groups, in which senior researcher Rebecka Hellsten and Professor Anders Bjartell at the Faculty of Medicine's division for Urological Cancer Research, ...

Cancer stem cells isolated from kidney tumors

December 13, 2012

Scientists have isolated cancer stem cells that lead to the growth of Wilms' tumours, a type of cancer typically found in the kidneys of young children. The researchers have used these cancer stem cells to test a new therapeutic ...

Recommended for you

Oxygen can impair cancer immunotherapy in mice

August 25, 2016

Researchers have identified a mechanism in mice by which anticancer immune responses are inhibited within the lungs, a common site of metastasis for many cancers. This mechanism involves oxygen inhibition of the anticancer ...

Stem cell propagation fuels cancer risk in different organs

August 25, 2016

The idea that stem cells - special cells that divide to repair and generate tissues - might be the major determinant of cancer risk has provoked great debate in the scientific community. Some researchers maintain that environmental ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.