Friday March 22, 2019

Cancer May Lead to Premature Ageing, Says Study

They established that the NOX2 enzyme generates superoxide which drives the ageing process

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Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

While it is well known that ageing promotes cancer development, UK researchers have showed that the reverse is also true.

A team from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that leukaemia — a type of blood cancer — promotes premature ageing in healthy bone marrow cells.

Importantly, the aged bone marrow cells accelerate the growth and development of the leukaemia, creating a vicious cycle that fuels the disease.

“Our results provide evidence that cancer causes ageing. We have clearly shown that the cancer cell itself drives the ageing process in the neighbouring non-cancer cells,” said Stuart Rushworth from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

“Our research reveals that leukaemia uses this biological phenomenon to its advantage to accelerate the disease,” he added.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

The study, published on Thursday in the journal Blood, also identified the mechanism by which this process of premature ageing occurs in the bone marrow of leukaemia patients and highlights the potential impact this could have on future treatments.

The team showed NOX2, an enzyme usually involved in the body’s response to infection, to be present in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells — and this was found to be responsible for creating the ageing conditions.

They established that the NOX2 enzyme generates superoxide which drives the ageing process.

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By slowing down NOX2, researchers showed the reduction in aged neighbouring non-malignant cells resulted in slower cancer growth.

Rushworth said: “It was not previously known that leukaemia induces ageing of the local non cancer environment. We hope that this biological function can be exploited in future, paving the way for new drugs.” (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

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While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)