Research finds new link between inflammation and cancer

Aug 16, 2010

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have uncovered a new link between chronic inflammation and cancer. Although cancers do not always cause inflammation, chronic inflammation is known to help tumor cells grow.

In an article published in the June issue of Nature, VCU Massey scientists Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., and Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D., and their co-authors examine how sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid mediator in the blood that influences immune cell circulation, also regulates inflammation and . They reported that S1P is a missing cofactor that is required for the activity of TRAF2, the key regulator of NF-kappaB, which acts as a master on-off switch in controlling and cancer.

Spiegel, who is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on bioactive lipid signaling, discovered almost two decades ago that S1P is a potent lipid mediator that stimulates cell growth. S1P and the kinase that produces it, SphK1, have since emerged as critical regulators of numerous fundamental biological processes affecting health and disease.

"It is difficult to find an area of physiology and pathophysiology in which S1P does not have important if not key roles. Appropriate to its name, which is associated with the enigma of the Sphinx, how S1P so profoundly regulates cell fate decisions has long remained a mystery," said Spiegel, co-leader of VCU Massey's Cancer Cell Signaling Program and chair of VCU School of Medicine's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.

The puzzle of how such a simple molecule as S1P can have diverse roles has been solved by VCU Massey researchers' discovery that this lipid mediator functions not only as a "first messenger," a ligand or agonist that binds to specific , but also inside the cells as an "intracellular second messenger" that is required for activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB.

These findings also provide an explanation for the numerous observations of the importance of the enzyme that produces S1P, SphK1, in protection of against chemotherapeutic drugs and the correlation of its levels with poor prognosis of many types of cancers, including breast, colorectal and brain.

Spiegel hopes that specific SphK1 inhibitors they are developing will pave the way for future potent and specific drugs that target SphK1 for the treatment of cancer.

Explore further: Public need better information about screening, say MPs

More information: doi:10.1038/nature09128

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User comments : 22

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TabulaMentis
2 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2010
This is nothing new. People have known this for a long time.
Musashi
5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2010
Known "this"? That sphingosine-1-phosphate is a missing cofactor for the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRAF2?
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 16, 2010
To be more specific; the relationship between inflammation and cancer.
This article/study helps prove what many people have suspected for some time.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 16, 2010
P.S.: Congrats.......
fixer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
An interesting explanation of a well known phenomena.
STAGGERBOT
5 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
To be more specific; the relationship between inflammation and cancer.
This article/study helps prove what many people have suspected for some time.

I think you mean; to be "less" specific.
The specifics of the article is in reporting an important discovery regarding molecular details in the inflammatory and immune processes of cells which could lead to new treatments for cancer.
fixer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
You'r nitpicking!
The point of the posting is that we already know there is a link.
The article details a possible cause of the link but as far as the patients are concerned this is irrelivant.
More important is the fact that inflammation based therapies can be applied directly to cancer patients possibly removing the need for more dangerous and ineffective treatments like chemo and radiotherapy.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
It is frustrating to read an article like this.
For many people these kinds of discoveries have come too late. For others it provides hope.
fixer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2010
I quite agree!
However, for those not prepared to wait (like me)there is help here-http://autoimmuni...ch.org/, or for those who can't wait there is always-http://www.physor...379.html
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
Fixer:
I am so sorry to hear that.
Which cancer are you dealing with?
Note: The first link directly above does not work.
fixer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 19, 2010
In my case, skin cancer, but I am clear now.
Sorry about the link, an extra comma.
http://autoimmuni...rch.org/ works.
A note on Artemisinin for those who followed the Physorg link above, Arti is not so much a drug as a chemical.
mechanism of action can be found here-http://www.artbio...ion.html
It appears to have no effect on healthy cells at any dose! the FDA is still out despite the drug being in constant use since 1972, no-one in the pharma industry wants to know about it in the civilised world as it in out of patent and available OTC or mail order.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2010
To call some people non-scientists would be too flattering for them and too unfair for the real non-scientists. It's anti-scientific to repeatedly and knowingly confuse "knowing" and "assuming".
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
To call some people non-scientists would be too flattering for them and too unfair for the real non-scientists. It's anti-scientific to repeatedly and knowingly confuse "knowing" and "assuming".

What do you mean?
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
Fixer:

That is great news! Not everyone is so lucky.

In another article Frajo talked about Octreotide therapies for targeted treatments.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
Fixer:

Basketball superstar Magic Johnson has shown that if a person takes extreme care of their health they can beat many diseases against all odds.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
To call some people non-scientists would be too flattering for them and too unfair for the real non-scientists. It's anti-scientific to repeatedly and knowingly confuse "knowing" and "assuming".

What do you mean?
Your statement "People have known this for a long time" is wrong.
The statement "People have assumed this for a long time" may be correct if you can provide a credible source.
Assumptions, even well-founded assumptions don't equal knowledge.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
Frajo:

Your right. I do not have time to look up the source material regarding my first statement, but I have been aware of the assumption for years.
There are many other things people assume that will someday be proven correct.

If that statement of yours was directed towards me, then what am I?
I have been calling myself a self educated theoretic physicist for a while.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
Fragio:

Maybe I am the one who created the idea years ago?
I have been talking to one person about it for years who just told me she first heard of it from me six years ago.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2010
Frago:

The source may have been from the following: Nutrition Almanac by John Kirschmann, Second Edition, published by McGraw Hill in 1979.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
Frago:
I think it is common sense. Years ago I knew a person who would eat late at night and drink coffee after the meals.
The same person would always be complaining about stomach problems and acid reflux. He would take Tums to help relieve the problem.
Twenty years ago the same person had esophagus cancer. So the motto to this story is if on irritates a part of their body long enough, then bad things can happen. So I figured irritation would lead to inflammation that could then lead to cancer. Same thing with cigarette smoking, I guess?
fixer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
@TabulaMentis

It wasn't luck,
I researched the article thoroughly, then I googled the people in the article and checked the papers they had written over the years.
Then I checked Uni Washingtons website to confirm their employment division.
That done, I checked Artemisinin as a valid drug, it's chemistry and how it works on Malaria.
I followed Prof Lai's reasoning on the cancer connection, it's just high school physics after all.
Then I contacted Artbiomedical for dosage instructions and married that against info from other users, mostly Asian but some American too.
I ordered the drug from Organicpharmacy.com and followed the regieme and the drug worked precicely as described.
As I said, not luck!
Score to date, Fixer 3, Oncologists nil.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
You worked hard to still be alive today.
I guess you may be angry for me saying luck, but I think you know what I really meant.
Thank you for putting it in writing. It may come in handy for other people, including myself someday.
I will not say good luck. I will wish you a happy life and may you live forever.

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