Scientists present new research on childhood neuroblastoma

July 13, 2016

In the journal Cell Reports researchers at Karolinska Institutet together with international colleagues present new data on the pediatric tumor neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a nerve cell cancer that affects young children and originates in the peripheral nervous system along the spine and in the adrenal glands.

"In some high-risk tumors the MYCN gene is activated and can be amplified up to 100 copies in a single cell, said Marie Arsenian-Henriksson, professor at Karolinska Institutet and the principal investigator of the study, in a comment to the publication."

The research team has found that the cortisol receptor, a located in the cell nucleus, is down regulated by a certain microRNA cluster, miR 17-92, which in its turn is activated by the MYCN protein.

They have then studied the effects of combining reduced MYCN protein levels followed by activation of the cortisol receptor, and found that this treatment results in neuronal maturation and decreased tumor growth in mice. The results may have implications for the treatment of neuroblastoma . One possibility is that dexamethasone or steroid hormones could be used for the therapy of patients who have high levels of the cortisol receptor.

"Our study also shows that cells from high-risk patients with high levels of MYCN respond with maturation when treated with a combination of MYCN inhibitors and dexamethasone. The MYCN inhibitors both reduce MYCN levels as well as increase the cortisol receptor thus enabling the cells to respond to dexamethasone and to differentiate into nerve , says Marie Arsenian-Henriksson."

"We hope that this new combination therapy soon will be used in clinical trials in neuroblastoma patients," concludes Diogo Ribeiro.

Explore further: New strategy for defeating neuroblastoma found

More information: Diogo Ribeiro et al, Regulation of Nuclear Hormone Receptors by MYCN-Driven miRNAs Impacts Neural Differentiation and Survival in Neuroblastoma Patients, Cell Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.052

Related Stories

New strategy for defeating neuroblastoma found

June 3, 2013
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a promising strategy for defeating neuroblastoma – a malignant form of cancer in children – that focuses on the so-called MYCN protein. A specific chemical molecule ...

Loss of a microRNA family, let-7, found key in neuroblastoma

July 7, 2016
Great strides have been made in treating neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infants and toddlers. However, advanced cases are often fatal, and children who survive often face life-long physical and intellectual challenges ...

Scientists work to bring about a new treatment for rare childhood cancer

March 7, 2016
Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that develops in very early forms of nerve cells in the embryo or fetus, and it accounts for the most pediatric deaths for any tumor outside of the brain. The most lethal form of this tumor ...

Genetic biomarker may help identify neuroblastomas vulnerable to novel class of drugs

April 9, 2013
An irregularity within many neuroblastoma cells may indicate whether a neuroblastoma tumor, a difficult-to-treat, early childhood cancer, is vulnerable to a new class of anti-cancer drugs known as BET bromodomain inhibitors, ...

Biomarker may identify neuroblastomas with sensitivity to BET bromodomain inhibitors

February 21, 2013
Neuroblastoma, the most common malignant tumor of early childhood, is frequently associated with the presence of MYCN amplification, a genetic biomarker associated with poor prognosis. Researchers have determined that tumors ...

Recommended for you

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

October 17, 2017
The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors ...

Biology of childhood brain tumor subtypes offers clues to precision treatments

October 17, 2017
Researchers investigating pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGG), the most common type of brain tumor in children, have discovered key biological differences in how mutated genes combine with other genes to drive this childhood ...

New assay may boost targeted treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

October 17, 2017
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer and the most frequently diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide (nearly 40% of cases). Recent advancements indicate that both the prognosis and choice of treatment ...

Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment

October 16, 2017
Killing cancer cells indirectly by powering up fat cells in the bone marrow could help acute myeloid leukemia patients, according to a new study from McMaster University.

Study reveals complex biology, gender differences, in kidney cancer

October 13, 2017
A new study is believed to be the first to describe the unique role of androgens in kidney cancer, and it suggests that a new approach to treatment, targeting the androgen receptor (AR), is worth further investigation.

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.