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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Protein which is responsible for cancer spread discovered An antisense RNA treatment or a drug could be designed to treat cancer efficiently and safely.

Protein which is responsible for cancer spread discovered . An antisense RNA treatment or a drug could be designed to treat cancer efficiently and safely.

Increased level of carboxypeptidase E protein in cancerous tumor helps in predicting accurately the likely hood of recurrence and spreading of cancerous cells after surgery, keeping the level of this protein to low level helps in preventing recurrence and spread of cancer (Metastasis).

Cancer is a most painful disease for the patient as well as to the families of patients, and every one are badly affected by the trauma associated with it. Never the less an early treatment to patients in whom cancer is in early stage and has not spread to other organs and body parts is found to be beneficial and they can live healthy and quality life.

In early stages a cancer tumor can be surgically removed and most of the times after a surgical removal of cancerous tissue , it is required that it do not recur, more over it should not spread to other organs , therefore a chemotherapy or radiation therapy is given so as to prevent the recurrence and spread to other organs and tissues (metastasis).

What is important in deciding the timely requirement of such treatment is the accurate and on time prediction of likelihood of recurrence. And now it will be possible to predict accurately the likelihood recurrence of cancerous cells and likelihood of spreading to other body parts after surgical removal of cancerous tissue or tumor , so that an early treatment can be initiated .

Researchers from National Institute of Health and University of Hong Kong have discovered that, there is a protein called as CPE-delta N which is responsible for spreading cancerous cells to other tissues and is also responsible for recurrence too. Protein is CPE-delta N found to be in high concentration in the tissues where there is high possibility of spreading the cancerous cells, the protein is a carboxypeptidase , carboxypeptidase is normally associated with processing of insulin and other hormones , CPE-delta N is a variant of carboxypeptidase.

The concentration of this protein was estimated by estimating RNA responsible for synthesis of this CPE-delta N, in cancer tumors surgically removed from patients, concentration of RNA responsible for synthesis was also studied from surrounding tissue.

The researchers were able to predict almost 90 percent accurately if the cancer would spread within two years. The researchers observed that where ever the concentration of CPE delta-N RNA in surrounding tissue was found to be twice than that of in tumors, the cancer returned or metastasized within two years.
The finding is very important in developing and establishing a test which along with conventional staging tests could enable doctors to decide for further preventive therapy. As the researchers found that when the level of CPE delta-N RNA in tumors was more than the twice that in the surrounding tissue, the cancer was highly likely to return or to metastasize within two years.

Halting carboxypeptidase E synthesis could prevent cancer from spreading.
Antisense RNA that inhibit synthesis of carboxypeptidase E may be used for preventing recurrence of cancer after surgery. Researchers studied CPE-delta N RNA concentrations in pheochromocytoma tumors removed from 14 patients , and measured the CPE-delta N RNA in the tumor tissue only and found to be ranging from 150,000 to 15 million per 200 micrograms of tissue , in all these cases cancer was found to be recurred or metastasized . Researchers also found that there was no recurrence or metastasis in cases where in concentration of CPE-delta N RNA in tumor was less than 250,000 copies , patients were observed for 8 years as well.

It was also found that cells other tissue which are known to spread cancer cells aggressively observed high level CPE-delta N RNA tissue comprised of liver tissue, breast, colon, and head and neck.
Researchers developed a antisense RNA which binds to CPE-delta N RNA and halt its activity of producing CPE-delta N protein , and treated tumors with antisense RNA , and it was found that the tumors treated with antisense RNA did not grow further and it was also observed that spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissue or metastasis did not took place in tumors treated with antisense RNA for CPE-delta N protein.
Similar strategy could be applied in coming days to treat cancer, a virus vector could be used to deliver the antisense RNA or a liposomal drug delivery system tagged with antibody against cancer cell could provide better drug delivery option delivering antisense RNA to cancerous cells in vivo.

A drug can also be designed to block the synthesis of protein CPE-delta N which will help in preventing spread or metastasis of cancer cells and recurrence.

Study authors are Y. Peng Loh et al (NICHD) , Ronnie Poon et. al and authors from the Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada; the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center.

Also see Cancer Chemotherapy Using Nanoparticles May Reduce Harmful Side Effects of Chemotherapy 

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