This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find Promising New Approach To Preventing Progression Of Breast Cancer

LA JOLLA, Calif. , Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Doctors currently struggle to determine whether a breast tumor is likely to shift into an aggressive, life-threatening mode—an issue with profound implications for treatment. Now a group from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has identified a mechanism through which mitochondria, the powerhouses of a cell, control tumor aggressiveness. Based on their findings, the team developed a simple treatment that inhibits cancer progression and prolongs life when tested in mice.

The research team, which describes its results February 15, 2013, in an article published online ahead of print by The Journal of Clinical Investigation, hopes to proceed quickly to human clinical trials to test this new approach using drugs already in use for other conditions.

Looking at Clues

The TSRI laboratory of Associate Professor Brunhilde H. Felding studies cancer, especially the mechanisms that control metastasis, the spread of cancer from its primary site to distant organs in the body.

Past research suggested that mutations affecting mitochondria, which are key to energy production in cells, strongly influence whether a tumor becomes aggressive. But the mechanism was not clear.

"We decided to investigate a specific protein complex, called mitochondrial complex I, that critically determines the energy output of cellular respiration," said the study's first author, Antonio F. Santidrian, a research associate in Felding's laboratory. To do this, the group teamed up with Akemi and Takao Yagi at TSRI, who are leading experts in complex I research. Using unique reagents from the Yagi group, the Felding team discovered that the balance of key metabolic cofactors processed by complex I—specifically, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +) and NADH, the form it takes after accepting a key electron in the energy production cycle—was disturbed in aggressive breast cancer cells.

Exciting Results

To find out if the balance of NAD + and NADH was critical for tumor cell behavior, the team proceeded to insert a yeast gene into cancer cells that caused a shift toward more NAD +. To the scientists' amazement, this shift caused the tumor cells to become less aggressive.

"It was a really happy moment for me," said Santidrian. But the more exciting moments, he said, were yet to come.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,928.20 -142.20 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,089.46 -25.03 -1.18%
NASDAQ 4,939.3270 -77.6020 -1.55%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs