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News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

NEW YORK NY (December 15, 2016)--Gastric tumors are started by specialized cells in the stomach that signal nerves to make more acetylcholine, according to a study in mice. The multinational team of researchers who conducted the study also identified a substance called nerve growth factor that stimulates nerve development and, when blocked, inhibits stomach cancer development. The findings were published today in Cancer Cell. Previous studies have shown that nerves are abundant in the gastric tumor microenvironment. In an earlier paper, the researchers demonstrated that inhibiting signaling by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, by severing the vagus nerve in the stomach or treating with Botulinum toxin, shrank or prevented the growth of gastric tumors in mouse models. "Nerves and acetylcholine clearly play a key role in regulating the development and growth of cancer cells, particularly cancer stem cells, in the gastric tumor microenvironment," said Timothy C. Wang, MD, the Dorothy L. and Daniel H. Silberberg Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and senior author of the paper. "But little is known about what is driving cancer in the earliest stage of development, before the expansion of nerves in the microenvironment. We also wanted to find out where acetylcholine is coming from before the growth of nerves." Through a series of experiments in mouse models, the researchers determined that a neurotrophin (substance that triggers nerve growth) called nerve growth factor is highly expressed in gastric cancer cells. They also discovered that tuft cells--specialized cells found in the lining of the digestive tract that, like nerves, communicate with other cells--provide another source of acetylcholine for cancer cell growth, particularly during the formation of tumors. "We learned that tuft cells are increased during the earliest stage of gastric tumor development, making acetylcholine and stimulating the production of nerve growth factor within the lining of the stomach," said Dr. Wang. "As nerves grow in around the tumor, tuft cells decrease." In additional experiments, the scientists showed that overexpression of nerve growth factor in the mouse stomach drove tumorigenesis. Furthermore, administration of a nerve growth factor receptor inhibitor prevented stomach cancer in the mice. "Our study provides some insight into the cellular crosstalk that leads to the development of stomach cancer, and points to a viable therapeutic target for this type of cancer," said Dr. Wang. "Using our findings as a paradigm, additional studies can be done to identify the specific neurotrophins and neurotransmitters that are involved in tumor development in other areas of the body." The study is titled, "Nerve growth factor promotes gastric tumorigenesis through aberrant cholinergic signaling." The other contributors are: Yoku Hayakawa (University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan), Kosuke Sakitani (University of Tokyo), Mitsuru Konishi (University of Tokyo), Samuel Asfaha (University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada), Ryota Niikura (University of Tokyo), Hiroyuki Tomita (Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan), Bernhard W. Renz (Hospital of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany), Yagnesh Taylor (CUMC), Marina Macchini (CUMC). Moritz Middlehoff (CUMC), Zhengyu Jiang (CUMC), Takayuki Tenaka (CUMC), Zinaida A. Dubeykovskaya (CUMC), Woosook Kim (CUMC), Xiaowei Chen (CUMC), Aleksandra M. Urbanska (CUMC), Karan Nagar (CUMC), Christoph B. Westphalen (Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany), Michael Quante (Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany), Chyuan-Sheng Lin (CUMC), Michael D. Gershon (CUMC), Akira Hara (Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine), Chun-Mei Zhao (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. Norway), Duan Chen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Daniel L. Worthley (University of Aidelaide, Australia), and Kazuhiko Koike (University of Tokyo). The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (U54CA126513, R01CA093405, R01CA120979, and R01DK052778), the Clyde Wu Family Foundation, the Nakayama Cancer Research Institute, the Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and the Project for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Evolution from the Japan Agency of Medical Research and Development. Y.H. and K.S. were supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and Y.H. and T.T. were supported by Uehara Memorial Foundation. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. The campus that Columbia University Medical Center shares with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian, is now called the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.

CHICAGO - Epidural anesthesia may do more than relieve pain during labor; in some women it may decrease the likelihood of postpartum depression, suggests a preliminary study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 annual meeting. "Labor pain matters more than just for the birth experience. It may be psychologically harmful for some women and play a significant role in the development of postpartum depression," said Grace Lim, M.D., director of obstetric anesthesiology at Magee Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and lead investigator on the study. "We found that certain women who experience good pain relief from epidural analgesia are less likely to exhibit depressive symptoms in the postpartum period." The researchers controlled for factors already known to increase the risk for postpartum depression, including pre-existing depression and anxiety, as well as post-delivery pain caused by tissue trauma during childbirth. After accounting for these factors, the study found that in some women, labor pain was still a significant risk factor for postpartum depression symptoms. And, therefore, alleviating this pain might help reduce the risk for postpartum depression. In the study, researchers reviewed the medical records of 201 women who used epidural analgesia and had their pain assessed using a 0-10 scale during labor. They calculated the percent improvement in pain (PIP) throughout labor after the implementation of epidural analgesia. Depression risk was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) six weeks after childbirth. Researchers found the higher the PIP scores, the lower the EPDS scores. "Although we found an association between women who experience less pain during labor and lower risk for postpartum depression, we do not know if effective pain control with epidural analgesia will assure avoidance of the condition," said Dr. Lim. "Postpartum depression can develop from a number of things including hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, social support, and a history of psychiatric disorders." Labor pain may be more problematic for some women than others, the authors note. Additional research is needed to identify which women are more likely to experience severe labor pain and who would benefit the most from effective labor pain-control strategies to help reduce the risk and affect of pain on postpartum recovery. Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2016.

Modest D.P.,Hospital of the University | Stintzing S.,Hospital of the University | Laubender R.P.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Neumann J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 9 more authors.
Anti-Cancer Drugs | Year: 2011

This retrospective study investigated the clinical characteristics of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) depending on the KRAS status, thereby differentiating KRAS exon 2 mutations in codon 12 versus codon 13. In total, 273 patients with mCRC receiving first-line therapy were analyzed. One hundred patients were treated within the FIRE-3 trial (FOLFIRI plus cetuximab or bevacizumab), 147 patients within the AIO KRK-0104 trial (cetuximab plus CAPIRI or CAPOX), and further 26 patients received therapy outside the study. Thirty-eight tumors with KRAS mutation in codon 13, 140 tumors with mutation in codon 12, and 95 tumors with KRAS wild type as a comparison were included in this analysis. Bivariate analyses demonstrated significant differences between KRAS wild-type, codon 12-mutated, and codon 13-mutated tumors with regard to synchronous lymph node metastasis (P=0.018), organ metastasis (76.8% vs. 65.9% vs. 89.5%, P=0.009), liver metastasis (89.5% vs. 78.2% vs. 92.1%, P=0.025), lung metastasis (29.5% vs. 42.9% vs. 50%, P=0.041), liver-only metastasis (48.4% vs. 28.8% vs. 28.9%, P=0.006), and metastases in two or more organs (49.5, 61.4, 71.1, P=0.047). Regression models indicated a significant impact of KRAS mutations in codon 12 versus codon 13 for synchronous organ and nodal metastasis (P=0.01, 0.03). This pooled analysis indicates that mCRC is a heterogeneous disease, which seems to be defined by KRAS mutations of the tumor. Compared with KRAS codon 12 mutations, codon 13-mutated mCRC presents as a more aggressive disease frequently associated with local and distant metastases at first diagnosis. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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