Hokkaido University researchers have discovered that a nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug used for treating colds suppresses the spread of bladder cancers and reduces their chemoresistance in mice, raising hopes of a future cure for advanced bladder cancers.
Bladder cancer is the seventh most common cancer in males worldwide. Every year, about 20,000 people in Japan are diagnosed with bladder cancer, of whom around 8,000—mostly men—succumb to the disease. Bladder cancers can be grouped into two types: non-muscle-invasive cancers, which have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent, and muscle-invasive cancers, which have poor prognoses. The latter are normally treated with such anticancer drugs as cisplatin, but tend to become chemoresistant and, thus, spread to organs such as the lungs and liver, as well as bone.
In the latest research, human bladder cancer cells labeled with luciferase were inoculated into mice, creating a xenograft bladder cancer model. The primary bladder xenograft gradually grew and, after 45 days, metastatic tumors were detected in the lungs, liver and bone. By using a microarray analysis including more than 20,000 genes for the metastatic tumors, the team discovered a three- to 25-fold increase of the metabolic enzyme aldo-keto reductase 1C1 (AKR1C1). They also found high levels of AKR1C1 in metastatic tumors removed from 25 cancer patients, proving that the phenomena discovered in the mice also occur in the human body. Along with anticancer drugs, an inflammatory substance produced around the tumor, such as interleukin-1β, increased the enzyme levels.
Journal: Nature Scientific Reports – News
Adapted from press release by Hokkaido Universiy