About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

WNT Stem Cell Signaling Pathway Implicated in Younger Colorectal Cancer Patients

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on June 6, 2016 at 4:18 PM
Font : A-A+

 WNT Stem Cell Signaling Pathway Implicated in Younger Colorectal Cancer Patients

The rate of colorectal cancer in patients under age 50 is increasing. The disease is commonly more aggressive in young patients.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2016 shows one possible reason for the increased danger of colorectal cancers (CRCs) found in younger patients: while many genetic changes are shared between younger and older CRC patients, younger patients are more likely to have alterations in genes involved in what is known as the Wnt signaling pathway, a system of communication that drives the growth, survival and proliferation of cancer stem cells.

Advertisement


"This pathway has had a lot of interest in CRC and other cancers as well. We found that genes associated with the WNT pathway appear to be more frequently altered in younger patients," says Christopher Lieu, MD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and assistant professor of medical oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Lieu and his team worked with Foundation Medicine to analyze the genetics of 4,699 samples of CRC tissue. Then the group explored the genetic differences between samples that had been taken from patients older and younger than age 50. Though cancers from younger and older patients shared many of the same genetic changes, younger cancers were more likely to have alterations in the genes CTNNB1 and FAM123B. These genes are important players in the larger system known as the Wnt signaling pathway.
Advertisement

Like many signaling pathways, the Wnt pathway controls gene transcription - how often the information contained in particular genes is manufactured into proteins. These proteins then go on define almost everything in the ecosystem of the body, from tissue growth to brain function. The Wnt signaling pathway, in particular, is especially active during embryonic development, helping to shape the differentiation of stem cells into more specialized cells. Many cancers restart and coopt this developmental stem cell pathway to promote the ability of their own cancer stem cells to grow tumor tissue.

While it is impossible to simply mute the genes CTNNB1 or FAM123B implicated in the development of aggressive CRC in young patients, it may be possible to intercede elsewhere in the Wnt pathway that is improperly upregulated by these genes. For example the CU Cancer Center has been involved in clinical trials testing the Wnt inhibitor OMP-54F28 and a handful of additional Wnt inhibitors are currently in human clinical trials.

"This is an important finding because it can help us discover who is most likely to benefit from this new class of drugs. It may be that Wnt inhibition is even more important in younger colorectal cancer patients," Lieu says.

Source: Newswise
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Good Nutrition Linked to Better Mental Health in School Children
Convulsions / Seizures / Fits - Symptom Evaluation
World Heart Day 2021 -
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Stem Cells - Cord Blood Stem Cells - Fundamentals Cancer and Homeopathy Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Colo-rectal cancer - Management Colorectal Cancer Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art 

Recommended Reading
Colorectal Cancer Screening with Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a widely used endoscopic procedure to screen individuals for colorectal cancer. It .....
Colorectal Cancer Screening with Double-Contrast Barium Enema
Double-contrast barium enema is a radiological technique that can be used to screen individuals for ...
Colorectal Cancer Screening with Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure used to screen individuals for colorectal cancer ....
Colo-rectal cancer - Management
Treatment for Colorectal Cancers may involve surgery,chemotherapy, radiation therapy or biological t...
Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third...
Stem Cells - Fundamentals
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Stem Cells...
Stem Cells - Cord Blood
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Cord Blood...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use