Mount Sinai scientists identify novel therapeutic targets for metastatic melanoma

November 27, 2017

(New York, NY - November 27, 2017) - Mount Sinai researchers have identified novel therapeutic targets for metastatic melanoma, according to a study published in Molecular Cell.

The study focused on a gene called AMIGO2 and its partner, called PTK7. Scientists' understanding of AMIGO2's role in cancer has been limited until now, but the researchers discovered that AMIGO2 and PTK7 is required for melanoma cells to grow and survive.

This research also identified a path forward to develop small molecule inhibitors or antibodies against AMIGO2 and PTK7, which are both found on the melanoma cell's membrane. Targeted therapies against PTK7 have already been successfully tested in phase 1 clinical trials for solid tumors, so the groundwork has already been laid in developing similar drugs for melanoma.

"Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, affecting more and more patients," according to the study's senior author, Emily Bernstein, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncological Sciences and Dermatology at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "While immunotherapy and targeted therapies have significantly improved the outcome for some metastatic melanoma patients, they have had success in a small subset of patients and can cause significant toxic side effects. Thus, their limitations underscore the need for new therapies, highlighting the importance of this research's discovery of novel targets."

The researchers made their discoveries by studying BET proteins, which regulate gene expression in cancer, and their regulation of AMIGO2. When melanoma is growing, the amount of AMIGO2 increases; silencing its function significantly impairs melanoma's growth. In addition, AMIGO2 regulates PTK7 function and PTK7 is also required for melanoma cell survival, so targeting AMIGO2 and PTK7 would also disrupt melanoma's growth.

This study also discovered the potential to identify additional tumor-promoting genes and other therapeutic targets in melanoma by studying other BET target genes.
-end-
Mount Sinai researchers collaborated with researchers from New York University Langone Medical Center in this study and received funding from Dermatology Foundation, Hirschl/Weill-Caulier Research Award, Melanoma Research Alliance, Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust, and NIH/NCI R01CA154683, R01CA155234 and R01CA163891.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to provide the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 10 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in four other specialties in the 2017-2018 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked in six out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and 50th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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.