SPARCing chemotherapy success



Resistance to chemotherapy causes cancer treatment to be unsuccessful and is responsible for high mortality rates as a result. A number of genetic alterations are involved in chemotherapy resistance. In a study appearing online on May 12 in advance of the print publication of the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Isabella Tai and colleagues from the University of British Columbia identify a new protein involved in tumor therapy resistance.

The authors use microarray analysis to identify genes that were involved in the resistance of cancer to chemotherapy. They identified a protein called SPARC, which was poorly expressed in human colon cells that were noncompliant to radiation and chemotherapy. Restoration of treatment sensitivity was achieved by re-expressing SPARC in these resistant cells. Treating mice with SPARC increased their sensitivity to chemotherapy and caused reduction of tumors. SPARC-based therapy could thus be useful for enhancing cancer treatment.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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