CWRU School of Medicine researchers discover new target for personalized cancer therapy
A common cancer pathway causing tumor growth is now being targeted by a number of new cancer drugs and shows promising results. A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a novel method to disrupt this growth signaling pathway, with findings that suggest a new treatment for breast, colon, melanoma and other cancers. The research team has pinpointed the cancer abnormality to a mutation in a gene called PIK3CA that results in a mutant protein, which may be an early cancer switch. By disrupting the mutated signaling pathway, the Case Western Reserve team, led by John Wang, PhD, inhibited the growth of cancer cells, opening the possibility to new cancer therapies.
Their findings, "Gain of interaction with IRS1 by p110α helical domain mutants is crucial for their oncogenic functions," was published on May 2 in the journal Cancer Cell.
Cancer arises from a single cell, which has mutated in a small number of genes because of random errors in the DNA replication process. These mutations play key roles in carcinogenesis.
"This discovery has a broad impact on the treatment of human cancer patients because so many cancers are affected by this particular mutation in the p110α protein, which is encoded by the PIK3CA gene," said Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Genetics and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This is a significant advance because we can now disrupt this misdirected signaling pathway in cancer cells."
"If you turn on a light, you have to turn on a switch. But in the case of the mutation of this protein, p110α turns on by itself," Wang said. "The mutation rewires the circuit and is uncontrolled. This implies that if you break these wires, you can control the growth of cancer. Our current discovery may lead to finding less toxic drugs that can be used for personalized treatment for cancer patients in the future."
"This research will impact the field by focusing us on new targets for treating and preventing metastasis in patients in a many different types of human cancers," said Stanton Gerson, MD, Asa and Patricia Shiverick-Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology, and director of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and of Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
Wang's multidisciplinary team of Case Western Reserve researchers includes: Yujun Hao, Chao Wang, Bo Cao, Brett M. Hirsch, Jing Song, Sanford D. Markowitz, Rob M. Ewing, David Sedwick, Lili Liu and Weiping Zheng.
Source: Case Western Reserve University
Articles on the same topic
- How does pregnancy reduce breast cancer risk?Mon, 29 Apr 2013, 21:33:16 EDT
- Discovery helps show how breast cancer spreadsfrom PhysorgSun, 5 May 2013, 13:00:35 EDT
- New target for personalized cancer therapyfrom Science DailyThu, 2 May 2013, 20:30:28 EDT
- Breast cancer rates increase among younger womenfrom The Guardian - ScienceThu, 2 May 2013, 20:00:39 EDT
- Cosmetic breast implants may adversely affect survival in women who develop breast cancerfrom Science DailyWed, 1 May 2013, 12:31:18 EDT
- Breast Implants May Make Cancer Harder to Findfrom Live ScienceTue, 30 Apr 2013, 20:00:22 EDT
- Breast implants may harm breast cancer survival chances, study findsfrom The Guardian - ScienceTue, 30 Apr 2013, 19:30:38 EDT
- Estrogen-Blocking Drugs May Lower Breast Cancer Riskfrom Live ScienceMon, 29 Apr 2013, 21:30:30 EDT
- Four drugs 'can reduce chance of breast cancer in at-risk women'from The Guardian - ScienceMon, 29 Apr 2013, 20:00:35 EDT
- How does pregnancy reduce breast cancer risk?from Science DailySun, 28 Apr 2013, 23:30:14 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Natural selection has altered the appearance of Europeans over the past 5,000 years
- York U astronomer maps out Earth's place in the universe among 'Council of Giants'
- NASA data shed new light on changing Greenland ice
- Some characteristics increase the likelihood of getting married and living together
- Researchers closer to improving safety, effectiveness of lithium therapy
- University of Tennessee study finds crocodiles climb trees
- New dinosaur found in Portugal, largest terrestrial predator from Europe
- AGU: A 'shark's eye' view: Witnessing the life of a top predator
- Scientists identify gene linking brain structure to intelligence
- Asian elephants reassure others in distress