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Reason for high colorectal cancer rates of relapse discovered

Why popular Cancer colon cancer drugs-relapse promote

A certain group of anti-Cancer compounds apparently leads to increased colorectal cancer rates of relapse. A German research team recently discovered in the context of a study, that the common agents for colon cancer to kill the cancer cells initially, but at the same time, the stem cells encourage new and more resilient cancer cells.

Researchers at the seems by the end of the German cancer research center (Deutsches krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is decrypted, an operation for an increased rate of relapse in colorectal cancer to be responsible. The research team discovered that a group of cancer drugs in colon cancer cells, the so-called Wnt-activated signaling pathway. This pathway promotes the enrichment of resistant tumor cells, which can then lead to a successful therapy to a severe relapse. The results of the study were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal “nature communications”.

A new feature of the Wnt signal pathways discovered

Wnt signaling pathway is a biochemical response of cells to external influences. They already coordinate the development of the embryo, but also play in many disease processes. For many years, physicians assumed that excessively activated Wnt-signaling pathways associated with the development of cancer in the connection. To reduce this overactive signaling pathways, be used so-called MEK inhibitors. The latest research results show, however, that this influence can lead to a resistant to accumulate in cancer cells and in stem cells. Then it comes to relapse, many therapies are no longer effective.

Colon cancer cells can change Wnt-signals to your condition

“Wnt signals act both in the healthy intestine as well as colorectal cancer, the balance between cells with stem cell properties and more differentiated cells,” explains Michael Boutros in a press release of the DKFZ. In colon cancer stem cells this pathway is particularly active in and responsible to maintain the stem cell properties. This will lead to a cancer cell between a stem cell state, and a “normal state” and can switch. The normal cancer cells can be killed usually by medication, the stem cells survive, however, and as the “dormant cancer stem cells” a risk of relapse.

MEK-inhibitors of cancer stem cells-growth promote

The growth of many tumors is promoted by so-called Ras-signaling pathways. To inhibit these signaling pathways, a set of Physicians, the medicines with MEK-inhibitors. As a result, the rate of Division of the colon cancer cells can be reduced, in the current study, cancer stem cells to accumulate, but at the same time. This, the researchers showed both in mice as well as in laboratory cultured colon cancer cells.

The principle of the sleeping cancer stem cells has been decrypted

For the success of treatment for colon cancer, this knowledge plays a crucial role. “This corresponds exactly to the image of the sleeping cancer stem cells, which have been described for several years in many types of cancer”, emphasized study first author Tianzuo Zhang. Because it is exactly in these cells for a relapse, since they survive the therapy. The DKFZ research team now wants to look for a way, such as the impact of the MEK inhibitors on the Wnt-activity block, in order to make the therapy against colon cancer successful. (vb)