- Man shot by police ID'd; witness shares his side of story (2/17/17)31
- Panda Express restaurant coming to Cape's Siemers Drive (2/14/17)2
- Golden Corral nearing opening; soft open scheduled for Monday or Tuesday (2/12/17)8
- Settlement reached in accidental shooting case at Kelly High (2/15/17)10
- Jackson board votes to demolish high school building if bond issue passes (2/15/17)24
- Cape officer shoots man inside a home (2/16/17)7
- Southeast reports three confirmed cases of mumps; more cases possible (2/14/17)1
- Right to Work and Taxes (2/10/17)
- Man dies after being shot by officer; said to have come at cop with knife (2/16/17)29
- Former Cape cop indicted on possessing child porn (2/17/17)
Rat research may slow growth of brain tumors
WASHINGTON -- An aggressive form of brain cancer secretes a chemical that kills nearby cells and carves out a path for its own growth, say researchers studying the disease in rats.
Their findings could point to a way of slowing the growth of the disease in humans using drugs already available.
The research team, led by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard of New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., found that in the brain cancer known as glioma, cancer cells secrete a chemical called glutamate.
Glutamate is normally present in the brain, which uses it to transmit messages between cells. Excess amounts cause degeneration of brain cells.
"In essence, our study shows that gliomas actively secrete a compound, glutamate, that is toxic to surrounding neurons, and thereby utilize a unique way of promoting their own growth by killing their surroundings," explained Nedergaard via e-mail from Denmark.
"Our data suggest that the more malignant the glioma cells are, the more glutamate they release," she said.
"Other cancer types do not have this type of aggressive behavior. I think that the exciting part of our study is that it may give new hope to treatment since gliomas respond poorly to chemo-therapy and radiation," she added.
Drugs that block the release of glutamate are already in use in other diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, and could be added to the treatment of patients with glioma, Nedergaard said.
"We found that tumor growth was reduced 30 percent to 60 percent depending on the type of gliomas," Nedergaard said of the studies.