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Other highlights in the June 7 JNCI

New Study Challenges Role of Enzymes in Tumor Progression

Overexpression of a gene called uPA delayed tumor progression and decreased tumors' ability to create new blood vessels and proliferate, according to a new study.

Jaime M. Merchan, M.D., Vikas Sukhatme, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues inserted two genes tPA and uPA into mammary cancer cells. These genes encode for enzymes that activate plasminogen, an enzyme that helps break down blood clots.

Mice inserted with the mammary cells overexpressing tPA and uPA showed increased inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis in the lungs. When mammary cancer cells carried uPA genes with mutations that inhibited the activity of its enzymes, the tumors grew faster than tumors overexpressing active uPA. The authors suggest that uPA expression delays tumor progression and decreases angiogenesis and proliferation.

In an accompanying editorial, Giovanna Tosato, M.D., and Mahashi Narazaki, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., point to the clinical observation that link high tumor expression of uPA with poor prognosis and discuss differences between the experimental mouse model and human cancer. They write, "the study by Merchan et alraises important unresolved questions relative to the role of PAs in cancer progression."

Merchan and Sukhatme completed this research at the Mayo College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. Merchan now works at the University of Miami.

Contacts:

Article: William Kaufhold, University of Miami, 305-243-5184, kkaufhold@med.miami.edu
Editorial: NCI Press Officers, 301-496-6641, NCIPressOfficers@mail.nih.gov

Cost Effectiveness for Mammography Screening Guidelines Estimated

Choosing efficient mammography scr
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Contact: Ariel Whitworth
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
6-Jun-2006


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