Scientists find way to target cells resistant to chemo

April 24, 2014

Scientists from The University of Manchester have identified a way to sensitise cancer cells to chemotherapy - making them more open to treatment.

The study published today in Cell Reports, could pave the way for the development of drugs to target cells that have become resistant to treatment.

The research team made the discovery whilst exploring the possible mechanisms behind resistance to chemotherapy drugs like Paclitaxel, often used to treat breast and colon cancer.

Dr Andrew Gilmore, who led the research team at The University of Manchester, is part of both the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research and also the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

He said: "Cells replicate and divide through a process known as mitosis. This process is carefully controlled and if any mistake is made during normal division then the cell undergoes apoptosis - otherwise known as controlled cell death.

"Failure of cells to complete mitosis correctly can be the start of cancer. We wanted to understand how this failure - delay of cell division - activates apoptosis, and why some cancer cells may be able to avoid being killed."

Cancer cells replicate rapidly, and chemotherapy drugs such as paclitaxel target mitosis as a way to kill these quickly dividing cells. But cancer cells can develop resistance to the drugs.

The researchers found a particular protein known as 'Bid' in colon cancer cells, and looked at what happened when Bid was switched on.

Their results show that Bid is turned on as cells prepare to divide. This primes the cells to die if cell division takes too long. Cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy still turned Bid on, but went through mitosis too quickly for it to kill the cell. However, these resistant cells could be made to die by directly targeting the part of the cell where Bid works.

"Our findings demonstrate that Bid plays a central role in mitosis-related cell death. This opens up new areas of research into drugs that might be able to kill cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy. This could eventually be of huge benefit in a clinical setting and help patients who suffer from advanced stages of colon cancer," added Dr Gilmore.
-end-


University of Manchester

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.