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Indian-origin scientist identifies cancer’s food sensors

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London: An Indian-origin researcher from Oxford University has identified a protein used by cancer tumours to help them detect food supplies.

Initial results show that targeting the protein could restrict cancerous cells’ ability to grow.

“We found that aggressive cancer cells manufacture more protein named PAT4 which enables them to make better use of available nutrients than the cells around them – including healthy tissue,” said Dr Deborah Goberdhan from Oxford University’s department of physiology, anatomy and genetics.

Cancer cells often have restricted access to the body’s nutrient-rich blood supply.

The ability to sense and acquire nutrients is critical for a cancer to grow.

Dr Goberdhan and cancer researcher Adrian Harris collaborated to develop an antibody that could be used to highlight PAT4 in human tissue samples.

This was then used to study anonymous tumour samples taken from patients with colorectal cancer, a common form of the disease.

The results were compared to the known outcomes for the patients.

Those who had higher levels of PAT4 in their tumours did less well than those with lower levels – being more likely to relapse and die.

The researchers then looked at what happened when PAT4 levels were reduced. They showed that by reducing PAT4 levels, cancerous tumours grew more slowly.

“’These findings support each other. Not only do higher levels of PAT4 mean a worse outcome, but lowering levels improves the situation,” Dr Goberdhan pointed out.

“This means that we have identified a mechanism which cancer cells prefer to use and which we might be able to target as part of a combination treatment,” he concluded.

The research was published in the science journal Oncogene.

(IANS)

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Meditation Improves Mood, Sleep in Teenagers with Cancer

The mindfulness-based interventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer

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meditation
The process focuses on the present moment and the connection between the mind and body. Pixabay

Daily meditation can help improve mood and sleep in teenagers suffering or recuperating from cancer, a promising research shows.

Mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teenagers, according to the results of a clinical trial intervention led by researchers at University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital.

The process focuses on the present moment and the connection between the mind and body.

Adolescents living with cancer face not only the physical symptoms of their condition but also the anxiety and uncertainty related to the progression of the disease and the anticipation of physical and emotional pain related to illness and treatment.

meditation
Daily meditation can help improve mood and sleep in teenagers suffering or recuperating from cancer. Pixabay

The researchers asked 13 adolescents with cancer to complete questionnaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life.
The group was divided in two. The first group of eight adolescents were offered eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions and the remaining five adolescents in the control group were put on a wait-list.

After the last meditation session, patients from both groups filled out the same questionnaires a second time.

Also Read: Daily Meditation may keep you attentive in old age

“We found that teenagers that participated in the mindfulness group had lower scores in depression after our eight sessions. Girls from the mindfulness group reported sleeping better. We also noticed that they developed mindfulness skills to a greater extent than boys during the sessions,” explained Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise from University of Montreal.

The mindfulness-based interventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer, she added. (IANS)

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