Nav: Home

Scientists have identified the presence of cancer-suppressing cells in pancreatic cancer

October 07, 2019

A research team led by Nagoya University has revealed that cells containing a protein called Meflin have a role in restraining the progression of pancreatic cancer, a type of cancer that is hard to treat with traditional anti-cancer drugs. The team has also shown that cancer progression can be limited by artificially increasing the amount of this protein in the cells. These findings could lead to the development of new therapies against pancreatic cancer. This study was published online in Cancer Research on Aug 22, 2019.

Cancer cells are surrounded by stromal cells, which include fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are considered to divide into at least two populations: those promoting cancer progression and those restraining it. However, the nature of cancer-restraining fibroblasts remained unknown due to the lack of specific markers for this population, while various markers of cancer-promoting fibroblasts have been identified.

To identify a marker of the cancer-restraining fibroblasts, a team led by Professor Masahide Takahashi and Associate Professor Atsushi Enomoto at the Department of Pathology in the Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, conducted studies on fibroblasts, which exist in large numbers around pancreatic cancer cells, and identified the presence of a protein called Meflin. The team focused on this protein and revealed, based on studies of tissues from 71 pancreatic cancer patients, that patients who had a larger amount of Meflin experienced slower cancer progression. The team's experiments using mice also showed that pancreatic cancer in mice that had no Meflin progressed faster. Thus, they concluded that Meflin is a marker of cancer-restraining fibroblasts.

The study also showed that administration of vitamin D to fibroblasts helped to increase the amount of Meflin in the cells and that the progression of pancreatic cancer could be restrained by artificially increasing this protein. Professor Takahashi says, "We hope to develop drugs that increase Meflin so as to create new therapies against pancreatic cancer, a type of cancer that is hard to treat with traditional anti-cancer drugs."
-end-
The article, "Meflin-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts inhibit pancreatic carcinogenesis," was published in Cancer Research at DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0454.

Authors: Yasuyuki Mizutani, Hiroki Kobayashi, Tadashi Iida, Naoya Asai, Atsushi Masamune, Akitoshi Hara, Nobutoshi Esaki, Kaori Ushida, Shinji Mii, Yukihiro Shiraki, Kenju Ando, Liang Weng, Seiichiro Ishihara, Suzanne M. Ponik, Matthew W. Conklin, Hisashi Haga, Arata Nagasaka, Takaki Miyata, Makoto Matsuyama, Tomoe Kobayashi, Tsutomu Fujii, Suguru Yamada, Junpei Yamaguchi, Tongtong Wang, Susan L. Woods, Daniel L. Worthley, Teppei Shimamura, Mitsuhiro Fujishiro, Yoshiki Hirooka, Atsushi Enomoto, & Masahide Takahashi

Researcher contact details:

Professor Atsushi Enomoto
Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University
Email: enomoto@iar.nagoya-u.ac.jp

Nagoya University

Related Cancer Articles:

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.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
More Cancer News and Cancer 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

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.