Established in 2020 Monday, September 20, 2021


Doctors identify an eye cancer culprit
An illustration showing two different cell subtypes within individual tumors; an indolent subclone with spindle morphology (blue) and an aggressive one with round ‘epithelioid’ morphology (red). Illustration courtesy: Mathieu Bakhoum.



NEW HAVEN, CT.- Researchers have identified a molecular mechanism that drives the progression of uveal melanoma (UM), an often lethal eye cancer in adults.

The finding, published in the journal Nature Communications, may offer an opportunity to develop treatments to suppress earlier a lethal type of tumor that spreads to other parts of the body. It also represents a breakthrough in understanding cancer biology, linking two hallmarks of cancer — chromosomal instability (errors in chromosome segregation during cell division) and epigenetic alterations (changes in gene regulation) — that interact to advance disease progression.

UMs form within eye tissue, often in older adults and people with fair skin. There are an estimated 2,500 cases of UM every year in the United States.

The most common therapies for UM are surgery and radiation. However, once UM spreads to other organs, chances of survival are small.

“Up to half of UM patients are prone to developing liver metastasis, which is usually lethal,” said Mathieu Bakhoum, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Yale School of Medicine and co-first author of the study. “The reasons why only a group of patients with certain tumor characteristics develop metastasis, and the mechanisms driving metastasis, are unknown, yet crucial to developing target therapies to this lethal disease.”

The study’s principal investigators, in addition to Mathieu Bakhoum, are Ashley Laughney from Weill Cornell Medical School, Samuel Bakhoum from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Paul Mischel from Stanford University. Jasmine Francis from Memorial Sloan Kettering is co-first author.

The researchers integrated a variety of genetic and other analyses at the single-cell level to demonstrate that UM progression is propelled by the loss of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 — proteins that regulate gene expression. This loss leads to aberrant gene expression and errors in the way chromosomes segregate during cell division. Eventually, this leads to an inflammatory response that makes the tumor more aggressive.

“By uncovering key steps involved in tumor progression, our work highlights an opportunity for earlier therapeutic intervention to suppress tumor evolution,” Bakhoum said.

The research was supported by the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Fund for Ophthalmic Knowledge, and the National Cancer Institute.







Today's News

September 14, 2021

New immunotherapy method turns activated specifically in tumor

Cosmic concrete developed from space dust and astronaut blood

Engineers grow pancreatic "organoids" that mimic the real thing

Study provides evidence for 'new physics'

No need for a vaccine third jab booster: study

Magnetism generated in 2D organic material by star-like arrangement of molecules

What was really the secret behind Van Gogh's success?

New hope for antibody to treat muscular dystrophy

Doctors identify an eye cancer culprit

Study provides basis to evaluate food subsectors' emissions of three greenhouse gases

Cuban scientists reject 'Havana Syndrome' claims

Observation of quasi-equilibrium phase coexistence in supercritical fluids

No bull! Climate researchers 'potty train' peeing cows

How long do black carbon particles linger in the atmosphere?

Docking peptides, slow to lock, open possible path to treat Alzheimer's

White blood cells that can help destroy malignant tumors

Researchers design sensors to rapidly detect plant hormones

How genetic islands form among marine molluscs



 


Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez



Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the ResearchNews newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful