Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > Digest This: Cure for Cancer… >
Digest This: Cure for Cancer May Live in Our Intestines

Published: July 31, 2013.
By University of Michigan
http://www.umich.edu/

ANN ARBOR—Treating a cancerous tumor is like watering a houseplant with a fire hose—too much water kills the plant, just as too much chemotherapy and radiation kills the patient before it kills the tumor.

However, if the gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, the chances of survival increase exponentially, said Jian-Guo Geng, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Recently, Geng's lab discovered a biological mechanism that preserves the gastrointestinal tracts in mice who were delivered lethal doses of chemotherapy.

The findings, which will appear in the journal Nature, could revolutionize cancer therapy, Geng said. He emphasized that this had not yet been tested in humans, and right now there’s no way to know if people will respond similarly.

"All tumors from different tissues and organs can be killed by high doses of chemotherapy and radiation, but the current challenge for treating the later-staged metastasized cancer is that you actually kill the host before you kill the tumor.

"It's our belief that this could eventually cure later-staged metastasized cancer. People will not die from cancer, if our prediction is true," said Geng. "We cannot know this yet, but in mice it has shown promise. Years down the road, we may have a way to make humans tolerate lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this way, the later-staged, metastasized cancer can be eradicated by increased doses of chemotherapy and radiation."

Geng's lab found that when certain proteins bind with a specific molecule on intestinal stem cells, it revs intestinal stem cells into overdrive for intestinal regeneration and repair in mice. Stem cells naturally heal damaged organs and tissues, but so-called "normal" amounts of stem cells in the intestine simply cannot keep up with the wreckage left behind by the lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation required to successfully treat late-stage tumors.

However, the phalanx of extra stem cells protect the intestine and gastrointestinal tract, which allows the ingestion of nutrients so the body can perform other critical functions and the bacterial toxins in the intestine are prevented from entering the blood circulation, Geng said.

In the future, if the findings are tested in humans and show promise, these factors could give human cancer patients just enough of an extra edge to survive the stronger doses of chemotherapy and radiation, until the tumor or tumors are eradicated. Geng stressed that even if the findings do show promise in humans, it could take a decade or longer before an application becomes available to use on people.

In the study, 50-to-75 percent of the mice treated with the molecule survived otherwise lethal doses of chemotherapy. All of the mice that did not receive the molecule died, Geng said.

"Now we have found a way to protect the intestine in mice. The next step is to aim for a 100-percent survival rate in mice who are injected with the molecules and receive lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation."

Geng's lab has worked with these molecules, called R-spondin1 and Slit2, for more than a decade. These molecules repair tissue in combination with intestinal stem cells residing in the adult intestine.




Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


 
All comments are reviewed before being posted. We cannot accept messages that refer a product, or web site.If you are looking for a response to a question please use our another feedback page.
Related »

Muscle 
2/16/14 
Researchers Rejuvenate Stem Cell Population from Elderly Mice, Enabling Muscle Recovery
By Stanford University Medical Center
STANFORD, Calif. — Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have pinpointed why normal aging is accompanied by a diminished ability to regain strength and mobility after muscle …
Stem 
9/26/12 
Scientists Make Old Muscles Young Again in Attempt to Combat Aging
By King's College London
An international team of scientists have identified for the first time a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during ageing, and discovered how to halt the process in …
Muscle 
2/20/14 
★ 

Turning Back the Clock on Aging Muscles?
By University of Toronto
Muscle 
8/21/12 
Saving a Penny: Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise in Repairing Stress Urinary Incontinence
By BioMed Central
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) can occur due to sneezing, coughing, exercising or even laughing and happens because the pelvic floor muscles are too weak causing leakage when the bladder …
Muscle 
9/17/12 
At the Right Place at the Right Time - New Insights into Muscle Stem Cells
By Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Muscles have a pool of stem cells which provides a source for muscle growth and for regeneration of injured muscles. The stem cells must reside in special niches of …
Cells 
9/8/14 
Why Age Reduces Our Stem Cells' Ability to Repair Muscle
By Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Ottawa, Canada (September 7, 2014) — As we age, stem cells throughout our bodies gradually lose their capacity to repair damage, even from normal wear and tear. Researchers from …
Mice 
1/3/12 
A Shot of Young Stem Cells Made Rapidly Aging Mice Live Longer And Healthier
By University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Mice bred to age too quickly seemed to have sipped from the fountain of youth after scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine injected them with stem …
Niche 
5/24/12 
Researchers Find a Way to Delay Aging of Stem Cells
By Salk Institute
LA JOLLA, CA----Stem cells are essential building blocks for all organisms, from plants to humans. They can divide and renew themselves throughout life, differentiating into the specialized tissues needed …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese Edition