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New Treatment Kills Metastatic Cancer Cells

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the search-and-destroy dept.

Medicine 55

robert2cane points out a promising study from Cornell University about controlling the spread of cancer. There are many treatments for an isolated tumor, but once cancer cells reach the bloodstream and start spreading through the body, it's much more difficult to control. The new research (PDF), led by Michael King, developed a compound that is able to target and eliminate cancer cells in the blood of mice. "When attempting to develop a treatment for metastases, King faced two problems: targeting moving cancer cells and ensuring cell death could be activated once they were located. To handle both issues, he built fat-based nanoparticles that were one thousand times smaller than a human hair and attached two proteins to them. One is E-selectin, which selectively binds to white blood cells, and the other is TRAIL. He chose to stick the nanoparticles to white blood cells because it would keep the body from excreting them easily. This means the nanoparticles, made from fat molecules, remain in the blood longer and thus have a greater chance of bumping into freely moving cancer cells. There is an added advantage. Red blood cells tend to travel in the center of a blood vessel, and white blood cells stick to the edges. This is because red blood cells are lower density and can be easily deformed to slide around obstacles. Cancer cells have a similar density to white blood cells and remain close to the walls, too. As a result, these nanoparticles are more likely to bump into cancer cells and bind their TRAIL receptors."

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We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (0, Troll)

trevmar (188523) | about 7 months ago | (#45926085)

We have cured cancer in thousands of mice, and we now realize that the mouse genome, and the human genome are vastly different. The mouse immune system is very different from that of man. They don't even have the same number of active toll-like receptors. We must start thinking much more carefully about translation from mouse to man, and ignore studies where translation is not specifically teased out...

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 7 months ago | (#45926117)

You probably should read the article before you start spouting things about genomes, it's rather clear you don't really understand what's happening or why.

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (0, Troll)

trevmar (188523) | about 7 months ago | (#45926157)

I did RTFA. I get many articles like this for peer-review. I would have insisted on many revisions in this paper. There are so many loose-ends.

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (2)

liquidpele (663430) | about 7 months ago | (#45926405)

As someone who does research in this topic and has an IQ of 9001, I think the paper was just fine. You can believe me, I'm on the internets.

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#45926545)

As someone who does research in this topic and has an IQ of 9001, I think the paper was just fine. You can believe me, I'm on the internets.

Yes, but you're a dog!

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#45927353)

That's why he was the one to write the summary!

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45937823)

Yes you have, 110% sure, hey and the name of the teacher? Albert Einstein!

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 7 months ago | (#45926337)

It's actually white mice that CAUSE cancer. :)

Re:We have cured cancer in thousands of mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45927211)

My understanding is that this article is more of a proof-of-concept. Of course the human genome and the mouse genome are different, but a mouse model should be tested before proceeding to something closer to humans.

Better headline (3, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | about 7 months ago | (#45926093)

"New treatment kills some but not all metastatic cancer cells in mice, but only while they're traversing the bloodstream and so far only when the cells are injected into the mice in the first place".

Re:Better headline (4, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 7 months ago | (#45926137)

"New treatment kills some but not all metastatic cancer cells in mice, but only while they're traversing the bloodstream

A situation that is very dangerous and often leads to untreatable, fatal cancerous growth.

and so far only when the cells are injected into the mice in the first place".

That is also explained rather well in the article: there is no good way of predicting when or if a cancerous growth would ever become metastatic and enter the bloodstream, so the only way of actually testing the treatment is to inject the cells there. I mean, they can't really just sit on their thumbs hoping for the cancer to enter the bloodstream when it could be anything between 1 week to 10 years of waiting or it could simply not happen at all, now can they? The cells entering the bloodstream via ordinary methods or via an injection, however, don't change the results of the treatment -- the delivery method of the cells inside the body and the effects of them remain the same.

Re:Better headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926227)

Hey baby, ever been with a real man? I have a 4-inch penis-extender that brings my straight six up to a nine-point-five. It turns those big girls into loudly-yelping sacks of wet jelly. Seeing women take the whole thing is quite a sight, and using it has affected how I view women in general - for example, I don't look at the tits and ass anymore, I look at their belly button's height above the waistline to determine on the spot if they can handle the extender. And for those who can, the sex sounds like slapping a turgid rubber douchebag across a block of cement. You'd be surprised at the number of women who can not only take it, but blow up my phone asking me when my next visit's gonna be. These broads are cooking me filet mignons and fresh sea-bass and shit, and i'm tellin' 'em, "relax, girl, we're not gonna get married or anything, you're infatuated with a piece of rubber that's gaping you open to the diameter and depth of a fox burrow. "

But yeah, cancer and bloodstreams and shit -- not good, not good.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Better headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926273)

Hey baby, ever been with a real man?

By the sounds of it, you HAVE been with a man who has been gaping your hole wide open with his penis. ...and no, I'm not Gaygirlie, you fucking limp-wristed coward, JanneM.

Re:Better headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926385)

I know the tension between us excites you.

You come up in my face, wagging your finger and telling me what a naughty boy I am, but I can smell the fresh and pungent musk through your pants. This excites you because you're a pretty little woman who surrounds herself with effeminate yes-men who would dare never insult a woman no matter how harsh the treatment form her.

My quick-witted rebuttal, my sheepish grin and lack of intimidation, my willingness to get back in your face and tell you off is something different -- exciting -- and so now your loins ache for my touch. You replay the event over again and again in your head, and your fur crackles. You thinking of me during your bouts of intimacy is a secret you will carry for life.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Better headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45928527)

You thinking of me during your bouts of intimacy is a secret you will carry for life.

Truly great trolling. Seriously, bravo. I laughed heartily.

Re:Better headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45941735)

Very true -- my mother passed away due to this very reason. She had gotten skin cancer from laboring in the sun all day for lengths of time during her teenage years (she used to pick cotton in the farm land areas of California). The cancer was in her back; it was identified and surgically removed when I was 11, however, they missed some of it apparently. Six years later, the cancer was back, not only in her back this time, but also in her heart, lungs, and various other organs. By the time anyone realized this, it was impossible to save her. She passed away less than two weeks later, with only a few days of consciousness on excruciatingly painful life support.

If researchers are making progress on it in any way, shape, or form, they have my thanks and support.

Re:Better headline (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | about 7 months ago | (#45928901)

Perhaps one day it leads to a vaccine for metastasis. I'd love that, my dad lays dying now from a failing liver while the actual tumor can't even be found.

thru lymphatic system (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926135)

Cancer spreads mostly through the lymphatic system, not bloodstream.

Re:thru lymphatic system (3, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#45926181)

FTA: Cancers of the bone, blood, and lymph nodes spend a lot of time in the bloodstream.

What would set this research apart is it's ability to kill metastasizing cancer.

It is not a useless advancement, but it apparently needs to also kill cancer present in distant organs to be of significant impact.

Re:thru lymphatic system (1)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#45929051)

It is still useful if it only kills cancer in the process of metastasis so long as is used early enough. A single tumor is much more likely to be successfully treated than a bunch of diffuse tumors.

Re:thru lymphatic system (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926311)

shutup you clueless moron

but .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926191)

can it kill slashdot beta ?

Re:but .. (1)

rotorbudd (1242864) | about 7 months ago | (#45926985)

We all hope so.

Cannabis already does this. Look up CBD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926211)

CBD already does the exact same thing... and you can grow it and make oil out of it to treat yourself.

Look up Holy Anointing Oil. Look up Gray Wolf on icmag dot com and look up skunkpharmresearch dot com

I'm giving away cuttings for clones of "harlequin" cannabis for free in Colorado. It's 8% CBD and only 6% THC so there's no 'stone' or 'high' associated with it, just a clear mind and memory, mood control, anxiety control, pain control and a whole lot more. Look up TheCleanGame dot Net and fill out the form.

Keep it Clean! :D

Re: Cannabis already does this. Look up CBD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45932661)

Harlequin is good but remedy is a better high CBD strain.

More fraudulent 'research' that will lead to nowt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926241)

I've been reading articles like this since I was a child, NONE of them have come to anything. Vivisection is medical fraud. Why didn't they do the experiments in gorillas? Elephants? Blue whales? Rhinoceri? Aren't they all 'just like humans'? Well, of course they aren't - mice are nothing like humans either, and these experiments don't translate to human cures. Only HUMAN experiments do, which are otherwise known as 'clinical trials'...

Landmark cancer studies cannot be replicated (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926279)

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/21/cancer-industry-exposed-as-fraud-the-science-is-false/

"Recent news has shown that the majority of studies geared towards cancer research are inaccurate and likely fraudulent by nature. Findings published in the journal Nature show that 88% of major studies on cancer that have been published in reputable journals over the years can not be reproduced to show their accuracy. This means that the research findings published are not based on accurate results."

Still, I'm sure the resident Slashdot sociopaths will defend this 'research' to the hilt... can't have the general public waking up to the fact that the whole thing is a giant con, can we....

I repeat: "Findings published in the journal Nature show that 88% of major studies on cancer that have been published in reputable journals over the years can not be reproduced to show their accuracy."

Any comments?

Re:Landmark cancer studies cannot be replicated (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#45928263)

That's why studies need to be replicated. It's wrong for all the credit to go to the initial discoverers/reporters.

How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in the (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926289)

Physicist Lowell Wood in a brainstorming meeting: a question for everyone. You have a tumor, and the tumor becomes metastatic, and it sheds metastatic cancer cells. How long do those circulate in the bloodstream before they land?’ And we all said, ‘We don’t know. Ten times?’ ‘No,’ he said. ‘As many as a million times.’ Isn’t that amazing? If you had no time, you’d be screwed. But it turns out that these cells are in your blood for as long as a year before they land somewhere. What that says is that you’ve got a chance to intercept them.”
How did Wood come to this conclusion? He had run across a stray fact in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. “It was an article that talked about, at one point, the number of cancer cells per millilitre of blood,” he said. “And I looked at that figure and said, ‘Something’s wrong here. That can’t possibly be true.’ The number was incredibly high. Too high. It has to be one cell in a hundred litres, not what they were saying—one cell in a millilitre. Yet they spoke of it so confidently. I clicked through to the references. It was a commonplace. There really were that many cancer cells.”
Wood did some arithmetic. He knew that human beings have only about five litres of blood. He knew that the heart pumps close to a hundred millilitres of blood per beat, which means that all of our blood circulates through our bloodstream in a matter of minutes. The New England Journal article was about metastatic breast cancer, and it seemed to Wood that when women die of metastatic breast cancer they don’t die with thousands of tumors. The vast majority of circulating cancer cells don’t do anything.
“It turns out that some small per cent of tumor cells are actually the deadly ones,” he went on. “Tumor stem cells are what really initiate metastases. And isn’t it astonishing that they have to turn over at least ten thousand times before they can find a happy home? You naïvely think it’s once or twice or three times. Maybe five times at most. It isn’t. In other words, metastatic cancer—the brand of cancer that kills us—is an amazingly hard thing to initiate. Which strongly suggests that if you tip things just a little bit you essentially turn off the process.”

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45926307)

Forgot to attribute the above to the New Yorker Magazine (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/12/080512fa_fact_gladwell/?currentPage=all)

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45927441)

Thank God. I was worried for a minute that I might have RTFA.

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 months ago | (#45929593)

Don't worry, you have to read up to 10,000 slashdot articles on average before you RTFA by mistake.

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45927037)

From the article:

Ideas weren't precious. They were everywhere, which suggested that maybe the extraordinary process that we thought was necessary for invention-genius, obsession, serendipity, epiphany - wasn't necessary at all.

And yet we have a patent system that rewards lots of obvious ideas and companies like Intellectual Ventures go about patenting tons of them.

This hoarding and monopolization of ideas, and subsequent "tax" is likely to slow down the pace of progress than increase it .

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (2)

davids-world.com (551216) | about 7 months ago | (#45928035)

Would it be possible to replace or filter a patient's blood after excision of the tumor?

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (1)

Rolgar (556636) | about 7 months ago | (#45930059)

I've read that eating enough green plant matter (leaves) will remove waste from the blood. I've read in several places that people have used vegan diets to control cancer (although I think it's more about eating more leaves, and not about rejecting protein).

I've heard/read that people that live a more primative lifestyle without our grain based diets don't have cancer, presumably because they eat more leaves.

GBOMBS foods to fight cancer (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 7 months ago | (#45934491)

http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/gbombs.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
G-BOMBS: Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds

Fasting sometimes can help too (consult a specialist in it like Dr. Fuhrman to see what is reasonable to expect in various situations). People are always getting (pre)cancer cells and the immune system destroys them usually. Generally cancer is best prevented by diet and lifestyle (including avoiding carcinogens including browned and burned foods with acrylamides) with a healthy immune system. But once you have cancer, it is iffy if it can be gotten rid of... Dr. Fuhrman writes more on this on his site.

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 7 months ago | (#45928573)

This is what I love about physicists: They love sanity checks, and they do the math.

I'm in bioinformatics, and where I work we were discussing how large a value for differential gene expression could get and still be considered credible. Well, it turned out that if a single molecule of a typical RNA transcript is present in a reference sample, the value that was under consideration would require several thousand metric tons of it in the comparison sample. This was deemed to be "unphysical", as they say...

cimetdine... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 7 months ago | (#45928631)

has been available to block e-selectin in people with colon cancer for 20+ years, available at Walmart etc for about 11 cents per day. E-selectin is what often makes colon cancer metastasize and recur. Funny, no advertisements on TV about it.

Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45936299)

This tells me that either the field of oncology research and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the entire medical establishment is populated by dullards and people engrossed in their own greed, instead of people who live for the thrill of discovery and problem solving.

Why not just test everyone once a year or more ? Why not initiate a large study to find out what it is that some people are doing that prevents tumors from becoming metastatic ? The obvious answer is, the field of oncology doesn't want any real advancements to decrease the profits in constantly treating a population with increasing cancers. At some point you have to look at the obvious reality you live in and start demanding that fields of researchers that yield nothing but huge profits over the well-being of the public be dismantled and replaced with researchers that have an interest in actual progress.

Hair as a standard for measurement (2)

zerosomething (1353609) | about 7 months ago | (#45926367)

...nanoparticles that were one thousand times smaller than a human hair and attached two proteins to them...

What do you say, lets start a campaign to get the standards and measures people to make human hair an actual measurement standard.

Re:Hair as a standard for measurement (0)

Livius (318358) | about 7 months ago | (#45926559)

It worked so well with the cubit and the foot.

Re:Hair as a standard for measurement (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 7 months ago | (#45926855)

Also the length and area of a football field.

Re:Hair as a standard for measurement (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 7 months ago | (#45928935)

I'm a bald physicist, you insensitive clod!

Re:Hair as a standard for measurement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45930393)

introducing the millihair!

...nanoparticles that were 1mh...

Quick somebody update Wikipedia!
I rode my bike 1Gh today. That's about 18.5 One World Trade Centers.

free the innocent stem cells (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45927123)

or explain why not?

Question (2)

hackus (159037) | about 7 months ago | (#45928081)

If this is the case, then cancer diagnostic exams should remove these cells from your blood stream, firstly.

Secondly, if you require surgery or treatment, cells in your blood stream after removal of the primary cancer should then be removed.

Which makes a lot of sense, because cancer sometimes comes back to reinfect the patient.

So this would suggest, that part of the protocols for cancer treatment would require the patient to undego some sort of immuno therapy for blood work to complete the treatment.

-Hack

Re:Question (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 7 months ago | (#45933085)

Well, here's a thought. Say the original cancer is killed off. So far so good. But the loose cells are still cruising the bloodstream, and they're still looking for that happy-home location. Maybe it's that much easier for them to reinfect (so to speak) the original site... so the cancer "comes back". Rinse and repeat until the patient is worn out and dies.

If that's how it works, then killing off the circulating cells is just as critical as killing off the original cancer.

TRAIL (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 7 months ago | (#45929731)

I do not get it. They says the TRAIL receptor triggers apoptosis, but that cancer cells inactivate it. How can they use it, then? And how can they avoid to activate TRAIL in non-cancerous cells?

Re:TRAIL (1)

gregor-e (136142) | about 7 months ago | (#45929901)

I chalked it up to the ars writer getting it wrong.

Probably won't work in real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45931985)

This is certainly an interesting article, but it ignores some basic cancer biology.

In order to work, the TRAIL ligand must bind to the cancer cell, and therein lies the problem.

Almost by definition, cancer cells have lost the ability to error check their DNA during cell division. This is how they became cancer cells in the first place. The end result is that unlike healthy cells, when a cancer cell divides it produces a daughter cell full of DNA replication errors. By the time you have a clinically apparent tumor, there are countless millions of mutations among the cells. The central problem with chemotherapy is that you can administer a drug that kills 99.999% of the cancer cells, but almost invariably there will be a handful of cells with mutations that make them resistant to the medication. The result is an initial strong clinical response to the chemotherapy, but with an eventual return of the cancer which is then medication resistant.

The approach outlined in this paper is subject to the same limitation. In order to work, the TRAIL ligand must bind to a cancer cell. Their method may well augment the effect of the unbound ligand, but ultimately there will be a mutation which limits the cancer/TRAIL interaction and the method will fail.

Sadly, for the vast majority of solid tumors, the best cure rate is for surgical excision of the primary tumor before it spreads to the lymph nodes or distant metastatic sites. Survival is dismal for patients with almost any type of metastatic solid tumor.

alt cancer cures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45932159)

Lorraine Day cured herself of cancer by changing her diet. They body can cure itself from cancer if given the right conditions. No processed foods. Limit toxins. Give your body all the building blocks it needs - vitamins and minerals. Statistics show that you are better off not getting radiation or chemo. They lower your chance of success. Radiation causes cancer and chemo is a poison.

Re:alt cancer cures (1)

demonrob (1001871) | about 7 months ago | (#45937475)

Without chemo I'd be dead. Bowel cancer, spreading through the lymph, chemo got it and stopped all but one tumour, later removed. So yes, "Radiation causes cancer and chemo is a poison." but they do work. Don't take AC's advice and ignore these treatments.
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