Nav: Home

Spanish researchers find a new promising therapeutic target for glioblastoma

September 23, 2019

Glioblastoma is the most frequent and aggressive brain cancer due to its ability to escape the immune system. However, the way in which this tumor manages to induce this immune tolerance was not known in detail. A research published in PNAS carried out at the Instituto de Neurociencias UMH-CSIC, in Alicante (Spain), and the IMIB-Arrixaca in Murcia (Spain), has find out in detail how this tumor invade healthy tissue with hardly any resistance, a finding that could become glioblastoma´s Achilles heel.

The team led by Dr. Salvador Martínez, director of the UMH-CSIC Institute of Neurosciences in Alicante (Spain), and Dr. Rut Valdor, of IMIB-Arrixaca in Murcia (Spain), has shown how glioblastoma hijacks the contractile cells that surround the blood vessels of the brain and are also part of the barrier that protects it. The objective is to deactivate the antitumoral function of that these cells, called pericytes, and force them to work on the expansion of the tumor.

This change in the function of the pericytes, which are no longer defending cells to become "enemies", is achieved by glioblastoma by altering one of the cellular "cleaning services": chaperone mediated autophagy. Through autophagy the cell breaks down and destroys damaged or abnormal proteins. And chaperones are proteins that actively work on this task. The alteration by the glioblastoma of this cleaning service changes the proinflammatory defense function of the pericytes by another immunosuppressive, which favors the survival of the tumor.

Inactivating the tumor

Researchers have been able to verify in a mouse model that blocking this anomalous autophagy hinders the development of the tumor, causing defective adhesion of glioblastoma to the pericyte and, with it, the death of cancer cells, so it becomes a promising therapeutic goal.

"This work reveals a previously unknown capacity of glioblastoma to modulate chaperone mediated autophagy (AMC) in pericytes, and thus promote tumor progression. Our results point to the AMC as a promising therapeutic goal to treat this aggressive brain cancer so far without cure", says Dr. Martínez.

Previous this group showed that the influence of glioblastoma on the pericyte prevents destructive T lymphocytes from attacking the tumor. "That is why the brain does not detect glioblastoma and cannot react against it," explains Salvador Martínez, director of the Experimental Neurobiology group at the Instituto of Neurociencias UMH-CSIC in Alicante.

This new finding narrows the fence against this aggressive brain tumor and is in line with the current hypothesis about the role of autophagy in suppressing the early stages of tumor development and how alterations in this process contribute to its progression.

Glioblastoma multiforme is a highly invasive cancer that is characterized by changes in cerebral blood vessels and the gradual invasion of surrounding tissues. It is the most frequent brain tumor with the worst prognosis. Despite decades of intense research, its complex biology is still not fully understood and existing treatments have not achieved a significant increase in survival.

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Related Immune System Articles:

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.
Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.
How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.
Immune system upgrade
Theoretically, our immune system could detect and kill cancer cells.
Using the immune system as a defence against cancer
Research published today in the British Journal of Cancer has found that a naturally occurring molecule and a component of the immune system that can successfully target and kill cancer cells, can also encourage immunity against cancer resurgence.
First impressions go a long way in the immune system
An algorithm that predicts the immune response to a pathogen could lead to early diagnosis for such diseases as tuberculosis
Filming how our immune system kill bacteria
To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets.
Putting the break on our immune system's response
Researchers have discovered how a tiny molecule known as miR-132 acts as a 'handbrake' on our immune system -- helping us fight infection.
Decoding the human immune system
For the first time ever, researchers are comprehensively sequencing the human immune system, which is billions of times larger than the human genome.
Masterswitch discovered in body's immune system
Scientists have discovered a critical part of the body's immune system with potentially major implications for the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases affecting humans.
More Immune System News and Immune System Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at