Breaking News
March 21, 2018 - Flu Season Finally Slowing Down
March 21, 2018 - Mixed Results for Shorter DAPT in ACS Patients
March 21, 2018 - Scientists discover fish scale-derived collagen effective for healing wounds
March 21, 2018 - Genomics England announces new partnership to improve efficiency of next-generation sequencing analysis
March 21, 2018 - Adjuvant AC chemotherapy found to be effective in treating HRD-positive breast cancer patients
March 21, 2018 - Researchers identify new treatment targets for lung diseases using big data
March 21, 2018 - Alzheimer’s disease on the rise
March 21, 2018 - Two Agents Equal as Pretreatment for Adrenal Tumor Surgery
March 21, 2018 - ‘Icebreaker’ protein opens genome for T cell development, researchers find
March 21, 2018 - Women in medicine shout #Metoo about sexual harassment at work
March 21, 2018 - Mother’s pre-pregnancy waist size may be linked to child’s autism risk
March 21, 2018 - Second hand marijuana smoke can cause serious damage
March 21, 2018 - International study shows benefits of using MRI at the start of prostate cancer diagnosis
March 20, 2018 - Santhera Reports Outcome of Exploratory Trial with Idebenone in PPMS Conducted at the NIH
March 20, 2018 - ECG Patch Ups At-Home Afib Diagnosis in mSToPS Trial
March 20, 2018 - ROS-scavenging nanozymes for anti-inflammation therapeutics
March 20, 2018 - Genomics England announces appointment of global genomics pioneer as first CEO
March 20, 2018 - Test flight at German Aerospace Center in Cologne demonstrates functionality of deficopter
March 20, 2018 - Music therapy helps treat combat-related psychological injuries in military personnel
March 20, 2018 - Innovative psychotherapeutic treatment protocol for obsessive-compulsive disorders
March 20, 2018 - Weight loss after lap-band surgery alleviates arthritic knee pain
March 20, 2018 - New diabetes drug may help obese people shed body weight
March 20, 2018 - Novel Peanut OIT a Winner in Phase III Trial
March 20, 2018 - Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?
March 20, 2018 - Education and academic achievement can lessen effects of child abuse, neglect
March 20, 2018 - Researchers develop new algorithm to make CPR more effective
March 20, 2018 - Diabetes medication reduces chance of late miscarriage, premature birth among women with PCOS
March 20, 2018 - SSRIs may be more effective option for treating anxious youth, UC research shows
March 20, 2018 - Antibiotics could benefit women suffering from chronic bladder pain
March 20, 2018 - Health Highlights: March 16, 2018
March 20, 2018 - Interventional Radiology Has a Problem of ‘Unseen’ Value
March 20, 2018 - Antibodies show effectiveness for HIV prevention and promise for treatment and cure
March 20, 2018 - New 3-D-printed technology will improve radiology training
March 20, 2018 - New study identifies key role for particular gene in 16p11.2 deletion syndrome
March 20, 2018 - Red and processed meat increase the risk of liver disease
March 20, 2018 - 50% of Australians do not brush teeth twice a day
March 20, 2018 - American Gene Technologies receives second immuno-oncology patent
March 20, 2018 - Study finds no link between long-term violent video game play and adult aggression
March 20, 2018 - Weight loss surgery widely underutilized among young patients with severe obesity
March 20, 2018 - Scientists uncover new answers to cell aging in children with rare, fatal disease
March 20, 2018 - The Pistoia Alliance Calls for Greater Life Sciences Collaboration to Build the ‘Lab of the Future’
March 20, 2018 - Morning Break: Psychopathic Thought; Americans Flout Zzz’s; Farm to Pharma
March 20, 2018 - Perceptions of old age change as we age
March 20, 2018 - New standards for public involvement in research launched across the UK
March 20, 2018 - Whole Genome Sequencing used as diagnostic solution for TB
March 20, 2018 - Researchers show how two cancer genes work together to trigger leukemia
March 20, 2018 - Scientists discover basic molecular mechanism that helps understand how ALS works
March 20, 2018 - Multi-center study to evaluate promising new intervention for upper limb dysfunction after SCI
March 20, 2018 - Researchers develop technology to program DNA for delivering cancer drugs
March 20, 2018 - Northwestern scientists bring precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis
March 20, 2018 - Research suggests possible link between heading a soccer ball and brain imbalance
March 20, 2018 - Robocall increases diabetic retinopathy screening rates among poor minorities
March 20, 2018 - INSYS Therapeutics Initiates Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oral Solution for Treatment of Infantile Spasms
March 20, 2018 - Little Talk Between Docs and Patients Pre-PSA Screen
March 20, 2018 - Women GPs bring remote care to rural Pakistan
March 20, 2018 - Adults skipping vaccines may miss out on effective new shingles shot
March 20, 2018 - Suppressing emotions appears to reduce negative memories
March 20, 2018 - Epidural stimulation can safely, effectively normalize blood pressure in patients with SCI
March 20, 2018 - ‘Fast track’ project shows promising results in cancer whole genome analyses
March 20, 2018 - Advanced insulin pump system can also manage type 1 diabetes in children, study shows
March 20, 2018 - Flu risk less on flights if in a window seat finds study
March 20, 2018 - Sarepta Therapeutics Announces Plan to Submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for Accelerated Approval of Golodirsen (SRP-4053) in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Amenable to Skipping Exon 53
March 20, 2018 - Post-Transplant Fatty Liver Disease on the Rise
March 20, 2018 - New mutation linked to ovarian cancer can be passed down through dad
March 20, 2018 - Alex’s experiences of living with rare genetic disease
March 20, 2018 - Scotland study aims to offer precise diagnoses for people with rare genetic diseases
March 20, 2018 - Stem cell treatment may help rejuvenate ovaries, avoid effects of premature menopause
March 20, 2018 - FDA Approves Hizentra (Immune Globulin Subcutaneous [Human] 20% Liquid) for the Treatment of Patients With Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
March 20, 2018 - Death Strikes Young in RA
March 20, 2018 - Quiescent cells also mutate
March 20, 2018 - Stem cell-derived ocular cells treat severe AMD
March 20, 2018 - Mediterranean diet appears to be good for postmenopausal women’s bones and muscles
March 20, 2018 - Scientists discover rare childhood liver cancer’s ability to metastasize to the brain
March 20, 2018 - Treating metastatic breast cancer with immunotherapy
March 20, 2018 - The 5:2 diet could have beneficial impact on important risk markers for cardiovascular disease
March 20, 2018 - Congress tackles the opioid epidemic. But how much will it help?
March 20, 2018 - Neanderthals Just Part of the Evolutionary Puzzle
March 20, 2018 - Higher Mortality With Surgery for Early NSCLC
March 20, 2018 - Researchers go skin deep to explore what causes wrinkles
March 20, 2018 - E-cigarette use linked to fat accumulation in the liver
Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer
Tissue from an early-stage tumor developing in a mouse model of prostate cancer. Sympathetic-nerve fibers (green) are closely intertwined with blood vessels (white). Norepinephrine released by nerve fibers stimulates vessel proliferation that fuels tumor growth.Image courtesy Albert Einstein College of Medicine Credit: Albert Einstein College of Medicne

In a study in today’s issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels to proliferate. Their earlier research—which first implicated nerves in fueling prostate cancer—has prompted Montefiore-Einstein to conduct a pilot study testing whether beta blockers (commonly used for treating hypertension) can kill cancer cells in tumors of men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Solid tumors depend on an expanding blood supply to thrive,” says study leader Paul Frenette, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and director of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research at Einstein and a member of the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center. “Here we show that nerves stimulate the new blood vessels that encourage prostate tumor growth—and that we can short-circuit nerve stimulation to prevent new vessels from forming. This opens up an entirely new strategy for treating prostate cancer—one that we may be able to pursue using existing drugs.”

Prostate cancer is second to skin cancer as the most common cancer in men. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, and 26,730 men will die from the disease, accounting for 4.4 percent of all cancer deaths.

In a 2013 paper, also in Science, Dr. Frenette and colleagues showed that nerves play a critical role in helping prostate tumors develop and spread. More specifically, the researchers found that nerves of the sympathetic nervous system, (responsible for activating the “fight or flight” response,) promote tumor growth by producing norepinephrine, which encourages tumor growth by binding to and stimulating receptors on tumor connective- tissue cells.

Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia

In the current study, the researchers used a mouse model of prostate cancer to determine precisely how nerves within connective tissue drive tumor growth. After being released by nerve fibers, norepinephrine binds to receptors on endothelial cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels. The researchers found that the binding of norepinephrine to those receptors triggers an “angio-metabolic switch” that changes how cells metabolize glucose. To make new blood vessels, the endothelial cells—which ordinarily use oxidative phosphorylation to obtain energy from glucose—were now relying almost exclusively on glycolysis. Using glycolysis to metabolize glucose is a phenomenon that had previously been observed in cancer cells.

To confirm norepinephrine’s role in triggering this metabolic switch, the researchers deleted a gene in their animal model that codes for norepinephrine’s receptor on vessel cells, thereby eliminating norepinephrine’s binding target. They then observed that cells lacking the receptor were using oxidative phosphorylation rather than glycolysis. As a result, the formation of new vessels was inhibited.

“Oxidative phosphorylation generates more energy than glycolysis,” says Dr. Frenette. “It may seem counter-intuitive, but this energy boost provided by oxidative phosphorylation diminishes endothelial cell function and inhibits angiogenesis—the formation of new blood vessels that sustains tumor growth.” In Dr. Frenette’s mouse model of prostate cancer, stimulation from norepinephrine released by nerves had allowed endothelial cells to maintain use of glycolysis, enabling the rapid progression of prostate cancer from a low-grade precancerous stage to a high-grade malignant stage.

“While we need to learn more about the role that norepinephrine-releasing nerves play in prostate cancer, it’s certainly worth exploring whether beta-blockers can improve disease outcomes,” says Dr. Frenette, noting that beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of norepinephrine and similar compounds. Retrospective epidemiological studies, he says, have found that use of these drugs by men with prostate cancer was associated with reduced metastasis and increased survival.

The 2017 Science paper is titled “Adrenergic nerves activate an angio-metabolic switch in prostate cancer.”

Explore further:
Nerves play key role in triggering prostate cancer and influencing its spread

More information:
A.H. Zahalka el al., “Adrenergic nerves activate an angio-metabolic switch in prostate cancer,” Science (2017). … 1126/science.aah5072

Journal reference:

Provided by:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles